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Students at Montclair High School came up with a special way to celebrate Juneteenth.

Montclair High School’s Black Student Union celebrated Juneteenth, June 19, by creating a short video in honor of the day. In the video, the participating students each took a few moments to reflect on what they loved about being Black. “This Juneteenth, we wanted to celebrate ourselves and appreciate where we came from,” the video’s title cards read.

Juneteenth is a celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States; on June 19, 1865, news of the Emancipation Proclamation’s signing two years earlier reached Texas. It has been observed as a holiday in some states, and this year has seen renewed efforts to have Juneteenth recognized as an official national holiday in the United States.

READ: MHS students rally for Black Lives Matter and equity

READ: MEA panel calls for long-term, sustained actions against racism

In Montclair, high school students from around Essex County came together to celebrate Juneteenth with the New Jersey Student Blackout: an afternoon-long rally followed by a celebration at Rand Park.

MHS’s Black Student Union is a support and advocacy group to provide academic and social support to students of color at Montclair High School. The current iteration of the group was founded in 2018, with a special goal of addressing the schools’ long-running achievement gap. The original Black Student Union at MHS was established in the 1960s, and was one of the first to be formed at the high school level.

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