Nearly two centuries ago, on June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in the city of Galveston with news that Texas slaves were two-and-a-half years late in learning: They were free. Though Texas was the last U.S. state to enforce Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 declaration of emancipation – Texas was far from Northern lines, and Union troops were few – it was the first, in 1980, to observe June 19 as a holiday. Today, Juneteenth, considered the longest-running African American holiday, honors the official end of slavery in the United States and celebrates liberty and justice.

Now, all 50 states recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday; in 2021, a bill was unanimously approved in the Senate with bipartisan support.

In commemoration of Juneteenth, and to honor Black history, freedom, and achievement, GBH WORLD invites you to stream films that champion Black stories, rights, and the continuing fight for equality.

Click here for films to watch to celebrate Juneteenth