So as some of you may or may not know today IS Juneteenth! Now when I woke up today I realized it was Juneteenth but thanks to the lack of good quality Public Education I received I was never truly educated on what Juneteenth was or it’s history. This article is a present from me to you. Think of it as an eye opener or a cup of tea. I hope this provides much needed insight on this very ignored yet important holiday.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. What day do we celebrate Juneteenth?
Every year on the 19th of June.
2. When did Juneteenth start?
June 19th 1865
3. What’s he main point of Juneteenth?
The Emancipation Proclamation was signed January 1, 1863 by President Lincoln. The news of slavery ending wasn’t publicized to Texas until TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATER. Meaning, yes our ancestors where still enslaved for a whole 2 1/2 years.
HISTORICAL RUN DOWN (Where the facts came from):
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.
Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln’s authority over the rebellious states was in question For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.
If you’ve been tapping into your previous history knowledge while reading you’ll realize that the slaves were freed with no type of assistance to start their new lives as freed men and women. You see we were always at a disadvantage. Never on an even/ equal playing field. For years we have made a way out of no way and fought for our survival due to what we’ve been handed. Which is one reason why students around the United States are seeking compensation, reparation ,and reimbursement for the years our ethnicity struggled to even have a quality of life after our so called “freedom.” The Buzz article on free tuition.
Since 1865 Juneteenth has had a varied existence throughout the United States. In the early years those who celebrated would dress up, gather in Galveston, barbecue ,praise & pray for a prosperous future while commemorating those lost to slavery.
On January 1, 1980, Juneteenth became an official state holiday through the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator. The successful passage of this bill marked Juneteenth as the first emancipation celebration granted official state recognition. Edwards has since actively sought to spread the observance of Juneteenth all across America.
Juneteenth today, celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures. As it takes on a more national, symbolic and even global perspective, the events of 1865 in Texas are not forgotten, for all of the roots tie back to this fertile soil from which a national day of pride is growing.
This has been your girl Lashuna with a dose of black history. ✊🏾♥️ (Me on the left.)