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For Black Americans, June 19 or “Juneteenth” marks an important official holiday in almost all 50 states — it’s what many call a “second independence day.”
Juneteenth celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States and the sacrifices made by Black people to achieve freedom at the end of the Civil War, according to historians.
“Juneteenth is one of those legendary holidays that has taken on its own life,” said Frank Smith, the founding director of the African-American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C.
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