WASHINGTON - This weekend the nation will take a moment to honor Juneteenth, a symbolic moment in American history.Juneteenth commemorates when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, two months after the Confederacy had surrendered in the Civil War and about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in Southern states.RELATED: Juneteenth: What its path to federal holiday status looked likeMary Elliott, a curator of American Slavery with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, spoke to FOX Television Stations and offered a historical perspective about the holiday and why the nation should celebrate and commemorate the day given what Black people endured throughout history."We’re getting to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding.
The paradox is that the nation is based on liberty but founded on slavery," Elliot says. "The 1852 slave act regardless of where you stayed the slave had to return to the enslaver.
This day (Juneteenth) is also a moment that marks Black freedom and what it meant for this nation to grant freedom to everyone.