In Honor of Juneteenth, Arlington Public Library Launches Arlington Black History Community Archive
By Arlington Public Library
Posted on June 17, 2021, June 17, 2021

Many recognize June 19, 1865, as the date that ended slavery. Texas, at the time, was the furthest west of the Confederate States. Union Major General Gordon Granger read General Order Number 3 in Galveston ending slavery. By December 2, 1865, eight months after the end of the war, the United States ratified the 13th Amendment effectually abolishing slavery in the United States of America.

On June 19, 1866, a large-scale celebration was coordinated in Galveston, and the celebrations continue today. Many Black Americans equate Juneteenth, which is also called Emancipation Day, to American Independence Day. While the celebrations started in Texas there are now celebrations in all 50 states and internationally.

Learn more about Juneteenth here.

In honor of Juneteenth, the Arlington Public Library has launched the Arlington Black History Community Archive.

A documentary film crew sponsored by Arlington's MLK Celebration Committee, Inc. is also currently developing a multi-episode history series telling the largely forgotten story of Arlington's Black past, tentatively called Echoes from the Hill.

Members of the documentary project recently held a panel discussion at the Southeast Branch Library to share some preliminary research they've gathered in the form of photos, maps, documents, and excerpts from interviews with elders and their descendants.

Arlington Black History Community Archive

The Arlington Black History Community Archive, a digital collection created and hosted by the Arlington Public Library, provides free searchable access 24/7 to many of the historical photos, recordings, and documents that will be featured in the Echoes from the Hill documentary projects.

This collection was created to honor, preserve, and communicate the rich heritage of Arlington's Black community. For more information on items in the archive or to partner with us to preserve your family's materials, contact us at LibLearningDist@arlingtontx.gov or leave a message for the Local History Librarian at 817-459-6795.

The Library is excited to collaborate and launch these projects. We welcome and encourage the community to participate by sharing their family history. Our goal is to help preserve Arlington’s rich and diverse history and to uplift everyone's story.

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