Kevon Williams Blog: What Does Juneteenth Mean To Me?

by Kevon Williams

Kevon Williams competes against Team Argentina at the Madrid Rugby 7s International Tournament on Feb. 20, 2021 in Madrid.


Since I grew up in Houston, Juneteenth is something that I learned throughout my years of school. Sometimes known as Freedom Day, Juneteenth is a prominent holiday that celebrates the end of slavery. Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, on June 19, 1865, the last group of enslaved people learned of their freedom when the army declared 250,000 Texas slaves free. In 1980, over 100 years later, Texas recognized Juneteenth as an official holiday celebrated annually.
When thinking about what Juneteenth means to me the first thing that comes to mind is the freedom of the people, my people. It also shows the strength to withstand rough times. This is another great opportunity for communities to learn about history and their heritage. As time goes on, more and more people are learning about the past and recognizing the work that was done so that we can live and operate the way we do. By learning this, hopefully we can continue to take steps forward and not back in the opposite direction. We want to continue to celebrate this day not only to celebrate they people that paved the way but also the people looking to lay the next path.
“Its hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.”
Kevon Williams
USA Rugby