On Saturday, June 19, folks around the country will celebrate Juneteenth. The annual holiday, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day, is an annual commemoration of the end of slavery and the liberation of enslaved people in Texas in 1865.
History buffs will note that’s actually two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves. Because Texas was so physically distant from the rest of the country and troops to enforce the Proclamation were scarce, it took this long for enslaved people in Texas to actually be declared free. (If you’re interested in learning more about Juneteenth, here’s a helpful explainer.)
Juneteenth is now recognized as a federal holiday. President Joe Biden signed the bill marking this momentous occasion on June 17, 2021.
To honor this historic moment in history in our own way, In The Know teamed up with Shae Anthony, an Atlanta-based artist whose work has been commissioned by HBO, Hulu and more. She created the powerful, stunning Juneteenth illustration below, which you can also find on our Instagram page.
At first glance, the illustration is obviously captivating and mesmerizing. But as you look closer, you’ll notice several subtle ways the artist chose to pay homage to the legacy of Juneteenth.
For example, the decision to incorporate stars inside of starbursts and the red, white and blue color palette are nods to the Juneteenth flag.
The flowers you see featured in the illustration? They’re bluebonnets, which are the state flower of Texas.
Lastly, the use of different shades of red throughout the illustration is inspired by the red foods and drinks typically served at Juneteenth celebrations.
And if you found this story insightful, share it with friends, family and loved ones. Many Americans don’t learn about Juneteenth in school, so you can use this beautiful piece of art as an opportunity to educate.
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