Smithsonian chose this location because the Juneteenth holiday has its roots in Galveston. On June 19, 1865, “General Order No. 3” was posted in Galveston, informing the people of Texas that all slaves were officially free as of that day. After that notice, the reconstruction era began in Texas. It is because of that history that Smithsonian believes Galveston is the ideal location for this commemorative event.
The projection will be a variety of words and images that tell the story of Juneteenth. We feel this is important because we are at a pivotal time in our nation’s history, and we believe there is a critical need for enhanced dialogue and collaboration on race and racism to make our country better and stronger. Our goal is to get people in Galveston – and far beyond- to be aware of these issues, thinking about how these issues affect their own lives, and then talking with others to help create a better understanding among one another.
This campaign – which The Smithsonian will soon announce in greater detail – is unfolding across the nation, not only with events like this one here in Galveston but in other cities and towns big and small. This is an exciting, ambitious, and bold campaign Smithsonian is launching to generate productive dialogue and collaboration on the topic or race and racism. Our Shared Future: Reckoning with Our Racial Past is supported by Bank of America.