90 Inspirational Juneteenth Quotes To Celebrate Freedom

Looking for powerful quotes about Juneteenth quotes? We have rounded up the best collection of Juneteenth quotes, sayings, captions, slogans, messages, (with images and pictures) to help you understand the significance of Juneteenth and racial justice.

Also See: Black Women Quotes

Juneteenth, official name of federal holiday Juneteenth National Independence Day celebrated as a symbol of freedom in the United States every year on 19 June.

Why do they call it Juneteenth?

Known to some as the country’s “second Independence Day,” Juneteenth celebrates the freedom of enslaved people in the United States at the end of the Civil War.

Juneteenth honors the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. The name “Juneteenth” is a blend of two words: “June” and “nineteenth.”

It’s believed to be the oldest African-American holiday, with annual celebrations on June 19th in different parts of the country dating back to 1866.

Also see: American Quotes To Celebrate Freedom

To celebrate the historic special day, Americans regard it as a federal holiday and is also popularly called in various names like Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, Black Independence Day and Liberation Day.

In recent times people have celebrated Juneteenth in America by taking the streets and protesting in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

These famous Juneteenth quotes are by prominent Black leaders, activists, historical figures, celebrities, politicians, athletes, who spoke about Juneteenth in their speeches, letters, and interviews to inspire you to keep fighting against racism.

We have divided these inspirational Juneteenth quotes into the following sections;

  • Juneteenth Quotes
  • Keep Fighting Quotes For Juneteenth
  • Emancipation and Freedom Quotes By Martin Luther King Jr.

Juneteenth Quotes

  1. “Juneteenth. Freedom day. June 19.”

  2. “Juneteenth: Let’s celebrate the day of freedom.”

  3. “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” – Fannie Lou Hamer

  4. “Where annual elections end where slavery begins.” – John Quincy Adams

  5. “You may kill me with your hatefulness. But still, like air, I’ll rise.” – Maya Angelou

  6. “We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.” – Bayard Rustin

  7. “It is impossible to inspire a future generation without respect foe the past, Juneteenth.”

  8. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” – Toni Morrison

  9. “Do not be silent; there is no limit to the power that may be released through you.” – Howard Thurman

  10. “Juneteenth celebrating African American freedom, families, heritage and becoming the ancestors dream.”

  11. “We don’t want to sit down and listen to these things, or to discuss them. But we have to.” – Ilyasah Shabazz

  12. “Juneteenth – the day in 1865 when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached slaves in Texas.”

  13. “We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right.” – Aretha Franklin

  14. “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcolm X

  15. “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.” – Rosa Parks

  16. “I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” – Frederick Douglas

  17. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou

  18. “If you dare to struggle, you dare to win. If you dare not struggle, then damn it, you don’t deserve to win.” – Fred Hampton

  19. “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln

  20. “Happy Juneteenth Day! A day of remembrance. Today we rejoice, reflect and celebrate our achievements throughout history.”                                                     

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    happy juneteenth juneteenth quotes

  21. “No violence will create peace…To effect change we must show love in the face of hate and peace in the face of violence.” – Beyonce

  22. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.” – Colin Kaepernick

  23. “In the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism.” – Shirley Chisholm

  24. “I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.” – Harriet Tubman

  25. “Freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. They claim it as their own and none can keep it from them.” – Kwame Nkrumah

  26. “I should fight for my liberty as long as my strength lasted, and when the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.” – Harriet Tubman

  27. “The day we were free—everyone was free. Why not make it a paid holiday? We deserve that…We want a day that is inclusive to everyone.” – Pharrell Williams

  28. “God’s time (Emancipation) is always near. He set the North Star in the heavens; He gave me the strength in my limbs; He meant I should be free.” – Harriet Tubman

  29. “My people have a country of their own to go to if they choose… Africa… but, this America belongs to them just as much as it does to any of the white race.” – Josephine Baker

  30. “You must never, ever give out. We must keep the faith because we are one people. We are brothers and sisters. We all live in the same house: The American house.” – John Lewis

  31. “So now they’re shaking in their boots and looking for someone to give them the answer they want to hear. Not the truth, but some lie that will protect them from the truth.” – Ralph Ellison

  32. “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

  33. “I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty, or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive.” – Harriet Tubman

  34. “Words of Emancipation didn’t arrive until the middle of June so they called it Juneteenth. So that was it, the night of Juneteenth, his mind went on. The celebration of a gaudy illusion.” – Ralph Ellison

  35. “…my daddy told me that they whooped and hollered and bored holes in trees with augers and stopped it up with [gun] powder and light and that would be their blast for the celebration.” – Haye Turner

  36. “Whether it’s freedom to express, freedom to live, freedom to earn, freedom to thrive, freedom to learn, whatever it is, I want to make sure that I’m a part of these spaces and opening doors.” – Angela Rye

  37. “We are going to get out here, I am going to get out here and get something done. We have to wake up America. We have to make America uncomfortable like we’ve been uncomfortable for 400 years.” – Gwen Carr

  38. “The persistence of violent white nationalism – these things have deep ugly roots, inextricably tied to slavery and its aftermath. We will be better off unearthing it and airing it out if we really want repair.” – Joy Reid

  39. “Today on Juneteenth, the day we celebrate the end of slavery, the day we memorialize those who offered us hope for the future and the day when we renew our commitment to the struggle for freedom.” – Angela Davis

  40. “Juneteenth (June 19) is an annual celebration for the end slavery in the U.S. The holiday commemorates a specific date – June 19, 1865, the federal troops arrived in Texas to ensure that all enslaved people were freed.”

  41. “Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and just for all, including Black women who are often, too often overlooked, but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy.” – Kamala Harris

  42. “We have suffered discrimination. We have suffered isolation and undermining. But we stand up for America, oftentimes when others who think they are more patriotic, who say they are more patriotic, do not.” – Maxine Waters

  43. “Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.” – Al Edwards

  44. “Juneteenth represents liberation and it belongs to us. It is a constant reminder that Black freedom is predestined, that only we can tell our stories and that there is no freedom, without Black freedom.” – Dannese Mapanda

  45. “Anytime anyone is enslaved, or in any way deprived of his liberty, if that person is a human being, as far as I am concerned he is justified to resort to whatever methods necessary to bring about his liberty again.” – Malcolm X

  46. “Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, symbolizes the end of slavery and commemorates the reading of Republican president Abraham Lincoln’s general order #3 on June 19, 1865 in Texas, which announced the freeing of slaves.”

  47. “If the cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. Because the goal of America is freedom, abused and scorned tho’ we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.” – Martin Luther King Jr..

  48. “We black folk, our history, and our present being are a mirror of all the manifold experiences of America. What we want, what we represent, what we endure is what America is. If we black folk perish, America will perish.” – Richard Wright

  49. “America has looted black people. America looted the Native Americans when they first came here, looting is what you do. We learned it from you. We learned violence from you. If you want us to do better, then damnit, you do better.” – Tamika Mallory

  50. “Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.” – Barack Obama                                                                             

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  51. “There’s no other race, to me, that has such a tough history for hundreds and hundreds of years, and only the strong survive, so we were the strongest and the most mentally tough, and I’m really proud to wear this color every single day of my life.” – Serena Williams

  52. “My fellow Americans, this is a special moment in our history. Just as people of all faiths and no faiths, and all backgrounds, creeds, and colors banded together decades ago to fight for equality and justice in a peaceful, orderly, nonviolent fashion, we must do so again.” – John Lewis

  53. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

  54. “What I love about #Juneteenth is that even in that extended wait, we still find something to celebrate. Even though the story has never been tidy, and Black folks have had to march and fight for every inch of our freedom, our story is nonetheless one of progress.” – Michelle Obama

  55. “As more Americans become aware of Juneteenth as a holiday, it’s important to learn about its history and significance. Juneteenth is not the day that enslaved people were freed, or the day that slavery ended. It marks the day when enslaved Texans found out they had been free…. for over two years.”

  56. “I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?” – Sojourner Truth

  57. “As black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences – experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.” – Viola Davis

  58. “Juneteenth was a promise that was broken. Reconstruction failed and this country has continued to wage war on the Black body. Juneteenth also embodies the resilience of Black people. Even in the face of a broken system, we choose to find joy in resistance and celebrate in community.” – Obrian Rosario

  59. “Juneteenth: A day of remembrance. Juneteenth celebrates June 19, 1865. the date when Major Gordon Granger and Union troops reached Galveston, TX with news of the Civil War’s end. Taking place 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, it represented the end of slavery in the United States.”

  60. “People say I talk so slow today. That’s no surprise. I calculated I’ve taken 29,000 punches. But I earned $57 million and I saved half of it. So I took a few hard knocks. Do you know how many black men are killed every year by guns and knives without a penny to their names? I may talk slow, but my mind is OK.” – Muhammed Ali

  61. “Every Black person you meet is a MIRACLE. We are descended of lineages meant to be destroyed by slavery or colonization. Our lives are hard-fought and hard-earned. We are priceless. We are valuable because of our humanity-and declared valuable because our ancestors declared our worth when they fought for us to live.” – Brittany Packnett

  62. “Juneteenth has become a newly but proudly embraced commemoration in my family and we have been exploring the ways in which we want to experience and culturally embrace the date (and beyond).. Juneteenth is another moment for me and my loved ones to build an archive of truth and experience of (ourselves) Black folks.” – Tatiana Glover

  63. “The 4th of July was never about Black people. Juneteenth is just for us. As Black people, we are told we don’t deserve our own holidays rooted in our own history. Everything is whitewashed. Juneteenth is for us…Juneteenth symbolizes the hope that my children and grandchildren will be free. It’s Black Joy and Black tenacity to survive.” – Tanesha Grant

  64. “Juneteenth means so much to me. It represents the freedom that my ancestors fought so tirelessly for. But rather than focusing on the brutalization of my people then and now. I choose to focus on hope. June 19th reminds me that I am the force of power to change this world and to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors to work towards liberation.” – Mariah Cooley

  65. “It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That’s where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres. We didn’t get the mule. So we decided we’d ride this donkey as far as it would take us.” – Rev Al. Sharpton

  66. “Slavery did NOT end via the efforts of a multiracial movement of abolitionists (many of them white). Federal officials created the discourse of freedom and removed slaves from the shackles of slavery in order for slaves to work, and “the freed slaves needed to work so that the North would not assume that they would carry the financial burden of the decimated Southern economy.” – Ericka Hart

  67. “Our watchword has been “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Brave men do not gather by thousands to torture and murder a single individual, so gagged and bound he cannot make even feeble resistance or defense. Neither do brave men and women stand by and see such things done without compunction of conscience, nor read of them without protest.” – Ida B. Wells-Barnett

  68. “But what a feeling can come over a man just from seeing the things he believes in and hopes for symbolized in the concrete form of a man. In something that gives a focus to all the other things he knows to be real. Something that makes unseen things manifest and allows him to come to his hopes and dreams through his outer eye and through the touch and feel of his natural hand.” – Ralph Ellison, Juneteenth

  69. “The American education system has taught us as children that Black people have history in pain and survival. They have failed to teach us our history in joy, success, innovations and so much more. Juneteenth is a reclaim on our history that has been stolen. Juneteenth is greater to us than a Fourth of July or Christmas because it represents our culture, resilience, and deserving respect from a country WE built.” – Nia White

  70. “It would take many more years and many more struggles before African-Americans received full and equal treatment under the law. But today, here and around the world, we commemorate Juneteenth as a time to celebrate the rich heritage and significant contributions of African-Americans, and to recommit ourselves – as Americans – to the enduring pursuit of a more perfect union and to the eternal principles of liberty and justice for all.” – Barack Obama

  71. “Emancipation wasn’t a gift bestowed on the slaves; it was something they took for themselves, the culmination of their long struggle for freedom, which began as soon as chattel slavery was established in the 17th century, and gained even greater steam with the Revolution and the birth of a country committed, at least rhetorically, to freedom and equality. In fighting that struggle, black Americans would open up new vistas of democratic possibility for the entire country.” – Jamelle Bouie

  72. “Studying the blueprints of liberation, one can map out the ways we as The Global African Diaspora have continued to resist and exist under regimes of anti-Black terror. Since the development of racial capitalism, the use of African peoples as capital, our ancestors have always fought for freedom. Our history doesn’t begin with slavery, but our future depends on us ending the mechanisms of it. Juneteenth is an extension of that abolitionist spirit where we march forth in reflection of the struggle.” – Brandon Gonzalez

  73. “Juneteenth is a date that recognizes the end of slavery in the United States. Although Juneteenth is not a day that is celebrated in the UK, it is still a reminder of the injustices black people endured. Juneteenth is important to me because till this day black people are still subject to racial injustice on a global scale, and are still victims of racial abuse regardless of where they are from. Juneteenth allows us to remember how far black people have progressed since and it is a reminder of the strength we have within us.” – Bethel Kyeza

  74. “Juneteenth to me means a lot. When we think about the African Diaspora and the history rooted in America and freedom for African Americans it serves a reminder that there are people before us that have fought for liberation. It shows that even after the emancipation proclamation was signed in 1863 African Americans still were not liberated. It redefined what liberation meant for the African American community here in the US. It showed that our liberation comes from us. Liberation lies within us and will not be formed from the current institutional structures we have in place for it never has.” – Fatimata Cham

  75. “Juneteenth may mark just one moment in the struggle for emancipation, but the holiday gives us an occasion to reflect on the profound contributions of enslaved Black Americans to the cause of human freedom. It gives us another way to recognize the central place of slavery and its demise in our national story. And it gives us an opportunity to remember that American democracy has more authors than the shrewd lawyers and erudite farmer-philosophers of the Revolution, that our experiment in liberty owes as much to the men and women who toiled in bondage as it does to anyone else in this nation’s history.” – Jamelle Bouie

Also See: Patriotic 4th Of July Quotes

Keep Fighting Quotes For Juneteenth

  1. “I have always hated slavery, I think as much as any Abolitionist.” – Abraham Lincoln

  2. “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Desmond Tutu

  3. “If you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go.” – James Baldwin

  4. “I swear to the Lord I still can’t see why democracy means everybody but me.” – Langston Hughes

  5. “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” – Michelle Obama

  6. “Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” – Coretta Scott King

  7. “Won’t it be wonderful when Black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.” – Maya Angelou

  8. “Now I’ve been free, I know what a dreadful condition slavery is. I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave.” – Harriet Tubman

  9. “I just don’t believe that when people are being unjustly oppressed that they should let someone else set rules for them by which they can come out from under that oppression.” – Malcolm X

  10. “Hold those things that tell your history and protect them. During slavery, who was able to read or write or keep anything? The ability to have somebody to tell your story to is so important…it says: ‘I was here. I may be sold tomorrow. But you know I was here.’” – Maya Angelou

Emancipation and Freedom Quotes By Martin Luther King Jr.

  1. “What matters is not how long you live…but how you live.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

  2. “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

  3. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

  5. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King


There are many ways Americans celebrate Juneteenth, including marches, festivals, shows and cookouts. This is a time when Americans realize and also acknowledge the injustices of the country’s past and raise the spirit of fighting against racism.

Many political figures have talked about the day of Juneteenth and have requested America’s country to remember their martyrs and help the Black community not feel excluded. Here’s a list of quotes by various figures who encouraged to keep fighting against wrong.

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Let us know which of the above Juneteenth sayings you resonate the most with? If you have a quote which is not on the above list, please share it in the comments section below.

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