Barack even shared the Juneteenth artwork that was outside his Oval Office.
Barack and Michelle Obama paid tribute to Juneteenth on Sunday, June 19 with powerful messages on social media. Barack and Michelle Obama’s Juneteenth 2022 Instagrams include artwork that depicts emotional events after the Emancipation Proclamation and video urging followers to continue the progress by making their voices heard. While paying tribute to history, Barack told his followers that on this day, it’s important to “remember that struggle as we reflect on how far we’ve come as a country.”
People across the country observed Juneteenth on June 19, which is a holiday that commemorates the freeing of enslaved people in Texas on that date in 1985, three years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. The Obamas took to Instagram to reflect on the importance of the holiday. Barack shared a throwback pic of himself as president speaking to Joe Biden in front of a painting outside the Oval Office that commemorates the night of December 31, 1862 in Galveston, Texas. In the caption, Barack explained the significance of the artwork, writing, “In it, enslaved Black men, women, and children crowded around a single pocket watch waiting for the clock to strike midnight and the Emancipation Proclamation to take into effect.” He then went on to explain that the enslaved Black people in Galveston “had to wait more than two years after President’s Lincoln’s decree” to “receive word that they were free at last.”
Barack wrapped up his message with an inspiring note, telling his followers that the work towards equality “remains undone” and that it’s necessary to continue “honoring those who fought over generations.”
Michelle’s Juneteenth 2022 Instagram also featured a powerful message, and the former First Lady paid tribute to the holiday with a special video. In the clip, Michelle reflected on “those before us who reached for progress, who helped build this country with their bare hands, who marched, fought, and protested, who did everything they could so that we might have a voice and a vote.”
Finally, Michelle urged her followers to “commit to protecting those rights in our time” by getting out and making their voices heard by heading to WhenWeAllVote.Org to learn more about voting.