DC has acknowledged Juneteenth with an image drawn by Milestone Comics co-founder Denys Cowan featuring Black heroes from DC and Milestone – with Milestone's Icon and Static Shock front and center. Cowan recently spoke about the return of Milestone at DC.
Juneteenth – a portmanteau of June Nineteenth – began as a Texas state holiday marking the date enslaved people in Texas were freed on June 19, 1865, nearly two-and-a-half years after Abraham Lincoln's 'Emancipation Proclamation' was officially ratified, making slavery illegal in the United States an intending to free all the enslaved people in the country. However, the order wasn't nationally enforced until after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on April 5, 1865.
Also known as Emancipation Day, Liberation Day, Freedom Day, and Jubilee Day, Juneteenth spread across the United States, with primarily Black Americans joining in the celebration.
DC's Juneteenth image portrays Black heroes Black Lightning, Nubia of Themyscira, Steel, Green Lantern John Stewart, Static Shock, Icon, Green Lantern Sojourner Mullein, and Cyborg all kneeling, raising fists, or both in front of a background composed of the names of numerous Black DC heroes and villains forming the stripes of an American flag.
Juneteenth has reached new national awareness among non-Black Americans following widespread protests occurring as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, aiming at widespread law enforcement reform following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of current and former police officers.
President Donald Trump originally planned a rally for his 2020 re-election campaign on June 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre in which white residents of Tulsa stormed the city's primarily Black-populated Greenwood District, killing as many as 68 Black residents and injuring scores more in resulting riots and burning residences and business to the ground. The incident, called "the single worst incident of racial violence in American history," formed a core plot point of HBO's recent Watchmen TV series. The controversial timing and location of President Trump's now rescheduled rally coincided with the widespread protests and Watchmen raising the profile of the racial significance of Tulsa in US history, resulting in record awareness of Juneteenth and the ongoing campaign for it to be declared a National Holiday.