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Juneteenth 2022: Message from Our President

diagonal bands of green, gold and red with Juneteenth Freedom Day June 19 written in the middle

As we celebrate the second national observance of the Juneteenth holiday, America’s second Independence Day, we celebrate in spirit with the 250,000 plus formally enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Tex., when their freedom was declared in the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19,1865.

The legacy of Juneteenth is the history and the story of the strength and resiliency of Black Americans who refused to give up during the most painful period in American history when they were torn from their lives in Africa to endure centuries of enslavement in the Americas.

Remembering, preserving, and celebrating these stories of resiliency is what makes the mission of the African American Resources and Cultural Heritage (AARCH) Society so pertinent and relevant today. We recognize that June 19th, 1865 marked the beginning of a journey that promised to lead to freedom, equality, and justice for formerly enslaved Americans. We know that the journey continues. Though progress has been made, 157 years later, we still have much work ahead to realize the full promise of emancipation and equality.

As the Society moves closer to opening its African American Heritage Center in 2023, where the often-omitted stories of African Americans in Frederick County, Md., will be recognized, presented, and celebrated, we take the banner from the ancestors whose day of emancipation we celebrate on Juneteenth.

We thank the community for its support as we make progress toward realizing the vision of William O. Lee Jr. and David V. Key, are now among the ancestors. We are grateful for a Board of Directors, funders, volunteers, and members who believe in and support our mission and the vision for the future. We encourage everyone to learn about the history of Juneteenth and to find ways not just to celebrate emancipation day but to continue to find ways to effect positive change in their communities and in the world.

Protean Gibril, President
AARCH Society Board of Directors