GM – FBF – Today is the black holiday known as Juneteenth Day. Some of the people up North may or may not had heard about this day. So let’s take a deeper look at this. Enjoy!
Remember – The emancipation of Black people in Texas is finially here. So rejoyce! – Fredrick Douglass
Today in our History – June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth Day –
The Day Slaves Learned They Were Free
The 19th of June is known as Juneteenth, an African-American holiday begun at the end of slavery days. Its origins are Texan, not Louisianan, but Juneteenth has long had strong roots in the South and has since spread all over the country as a time for African-Americans to commemorate their freedom and accomplishments.
President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves in Confederate states, on New Year’s Day in 1863. Word didn’t reach the African-American slaves of Galveston, Texas, until June 19, 1865, when a force of two-thousand Union soldiers arrived and informed them of their freedom. Although news indeed did travel slowly in those days, two and a half years is a long time; historians suspect Texas slaveholders knew of the proclamation and chose not to free their slaves until they were forced to.
The African-Americans of Galveston began an annual observance of Juneteenth which over the years spread to other areas and grew in popularity. Early Juneteenth celebrations were picnics at churches and in rural areas with barbecues, horseback riding, fishing, and more. The early 20th century saw a weakening of the holiday’s observance due to African-American migration to urban centers,
The national celebration of Independence Day just a few weeks later, and the preference of white historians to emphasize the Emancipation Proclamation over Juneteenth as a date to mark the end of slavery. Although some activists objected that holiday’s associations with slavery were too backward-looking, Juneteenth’s visibility rose again during the Civil Rights Era of the 1950s and 60s, and its resurgence continues all over the country.
Like elsewhere, in New Orleans African-Americans celebrate Juneteenth with barbecues and picnics, with family and church gatherings that strengthen community bonds. Other events include jazz concerts and speaking engagements emphasizing African-American empowerment, education, and achievement. To participate in Juneteenth festivities, check listings in local newspapers or online as the next June 19th approaches. Research more about this great American Holiday and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!