Juneteenth sounds like a playful day doesn’t it? Such a simple, lighthearted term that really sounds like a made-up holiday of little consequence. You couldn’t be more wrong, Juneteenth is one of the most important days in the history of the United States, representing the day that the last slaves in the country were set free. All over the country people celebrate the day that freedom took another step forward in the new world, and one more crime against humanity was cancelled and set to rights. Juneteenth celebrates this great event and the changes in made in the future of America.
History of Juneteenth
Juneteenth highlights a difficult time in American history, and the last vestiges of Slavery in the United States. Texas was never directly involved in the Civil War, and when the Emancipation Proclamation was established its slaves were not directly affected, so much so that people from all over had migrated into Texas to avoid the fighting that was going on everywhere else. Thousands of slaves entered the Lone Star state during this time, and it took some time for freedom to finally reach them.
Union General Gordon Granger read “General Order No. 3” on June 19th from a balcony in Ashton Villa, stating “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
How to celebrate Juneteenth
Take some time to study the history of your country and your state, and visit some of the celebrations that are taking place. The fight for freedom is not yet over for African-American’s, with thousands facing persecution and racism every year. While great strides have been made to help ease this and bring understanding between people of every race, only an appreciation for the difficult past and working together to change the future will really bring about the completion of what started in 1865. Juneteenth is your opportunity to address the racism that still exists in the US, and do your part in helping to put an end to it at last.