From left, Lisa Smith, Denise Weeks and Latarshia Hall react to Vivian Green's performance during the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

On June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and more than two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at the Appomattox Court House to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, enslaved people in Galveston finally learned from Union soldiers that they had been freed.

Since then, Juneteenth has been a day of celebration and reflection for Black Texans, and later, for millions of Black Americans across the nation. Before Congress passed a law on June 16, 2021, making June 19 a federal holiday, 48 states, the District of Columbia and many other cities had already made it a holiday. With President Joe Biden’s signature on June 17, the entire nation could celebrate this bittersweet moment in history with its deep Texas roots.

For many, Juneteenth is traditionally a time of family and community celebration. This year, as Texans emerge from pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, we asked Texas Tribune photographers in Dallas, Houston and Austin to send us pictures of Texans marking this newest national holiday. Here’s what they saw.

Lawrence Taylor, center, rides his bike during a Juneteenth celebration bike ride in Houston on June 18, 2021.

Lawrence Taylor, center, rides his bike during a Juneteenth celebration bike ride in Houston on June 18, 2021.

Credit: The Texas Tribune

Bike riders listen to instructions before a Juneteenth bike ride in Houston, Texas.

Bike riders listen to instructions before a Juneteenth bike ride in Houston.

Credit: Mark Felix for The Texas Tribune

First: Lawrence Taylor, center, rode his bike during a Juneteenth celebration bike ride in Houston on June 18, 2021. Last: Bicyclists set off on their Juneteenth bike ride in Houston.

Credit: Mark Felix for The Texas Tribune

Bike riders listened to instructions before a Juneteenth bike ride  in Houston on June 18, 2021.

Bike riders listened to instructions before a Juneteenth bike ride in Houston on June 18, 2021.

Credit: The Texas Tribune

Children scramble for candy during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021. Juneteenth commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger’s proclamation issued on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, which ordered the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas who were denied freedom for more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Children scramble for candy during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Montinique Monroe for The Texas Tribune

Austin residents celebrated during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021. Juneteenth commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger’s proclamation issued on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, which ordered the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas who were denied freedom for more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Austin residents celebrated during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Montinique Monroe for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Buffalo Soldiers lead the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021. Juneteenth commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger’s proclamation issued on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, which ordered the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas who were denied freedom for more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Texas Buffalo Soldiers lead the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Montinique Monroe for The Texas Tribune

Austin residents celebrated during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021. Juneteenth commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger’s proclamation, issued on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, which ordered the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas.

Credit: Montinique Monroe for The Texas Tribune

Kennedé Wallace, Austin’s Miss Juneteenth waves to crowds during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021. Juneteenth commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger’s proclamation issued on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, which ordered the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas who were denied freedom for more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Kennedé Wallace, Austin’s Miss Juneteenth, waves to the crowd during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin.

Credit: Montinique Monroe for The Texas Tribune

Austin residents celebrated during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin on June 19, 2021. Juneteenth commemorates Union Army General Gordon Granger’s proclamation issued on June 19, 1865 in Galveston, which ordered the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas who were denied freedom for more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

Austin residents celebrated during the annual Juneteenth parade in East Austin.

Credit: Montinique Monroe for The Texas Tribune

Crystal Sellars hula hoops as the sun sets on the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Crystal Sellars hula hoops as the sun sets on the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Robyn Sims paints at her Creative Tingz shop stand during the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Robyn Sims paints at her Creative Tingz shop stand during the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Dallas Summer Musicals director of education and community partnerships Devon Miller leads the group in a run through performance during the Juneteenth Festival at Fair Park in Dallas on June 19, 2021.

Dallas Summer Musicals director of education and community partnerships Devon Miller leads the group in a run through performance during the Juneteenth Festival at Fair Park in Dallas on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

First: Crystal Sellars hula hoops as the sun sets on the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021. Next: Robyn Sims paints at her Creative Tingz stand at the Fort Worth festival. Last: Dallas Summer Musicals Director of Education and Community Partnerships Devon Miller leads the group in a rehearsal during the Juneteenth Festival at Fair Park in Dallas.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Friends Ashton Thomas and Kiriston Arceneaux posed for a portrait together during the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Friends Ashton Thomas and Kiriston Arceneaux at the Fort Worth festival.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Aakosya performs at I Am Juneteenth festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Aakosya performs at I Am Juneteenth festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Trineese Potter paints at the Creative Tingz shop stand during the I Am Juneteenth festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Trineese Potter paints at the Creative Tingz shop stand during the I Am Juneteenth festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

First: Aakosya performs at the Fort Worth festival. Last: Trineese Potter paints at the Creative Tingz stand.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Brianna Williams plays with her daughters Hope and Faith during the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Brianna Williams plays with her daughters Hope and Faith at the Fort Worth festival.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Fireworks conclude the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Fireworks concluded the Juneteenth festival in Fort Worth.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Fireworks conclude the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Fireworks conclude the "I Am Juneteenth" festival at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

A fireworks show happily surprised some children during the conclusion of the "I Am Juneteenth Festival" at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

A fireworks show happily surprised some children during the conclusion of the "I Am Juneteenth Festival" at the Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth on June 19, 2021.

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Credit: Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

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