Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Juntheenth




On June 19 1865 General Grangrer (
http://ngeorgia.com/history/granger.html) read General Order No. 3 announcing the abolishment of slavery for all times in the United States of America. Although some slaves had been freed earlier in the war, in that part of Texas slavery was still the way of the world for African Americans.

President Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation shortly after the battle of Antietem,
http://www.civilwar.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1727&Itemid=39 however with no Union Army around to enforce the Proclamation slavery continued until General Granger rode into Galveston Texas and told the slaves and their owners that slavery was forever abolished.
General Granger also told the slaves they were free to stay and work out terms with their master, or they could leave and go wherever they wanted. Some freed people stayed some left. Their have been lots of accounts of freed people being murdered on for leaving their former masters. Hundreds of freed people caught in between returning Confederate Veterans and Union Army protected Zones were slaughtered by the returning Confederates.It has been said Lincoln wanted to issue the proclamation sooner but didn’t feel like he had the political capital because of the defeats the Union army was suffering. After the Union victory at Antitiem

Lincoln issued the proclamation and 2 and half years later General Granger announced the total and forever abolition of slavery.So Juneteenth is the celebration of when the last slaves where freed in America. Celebrated on June 1865 to combat the day General Granger and his soldiers delivered the news of General Lees surrender, the end of the war and freedom to those still in bondage.Juneteenth has been celebrated by some African Americans since the end of the civil war especially in the south. Originally Juneteenth was a day of remembrance and celebration with some slaves making a pilgrimage to Galveston, Texas. As African Americans were able to save enough money to purchase property, they were able to host Juneteenth celebrations on land that they owned and paid for. These celebrations featured food and drinks, dancing, reminiscing and prayer.

Their are accounts of white landowners trying to break up Juneteenth celebrations because they didn’t want to give African Americans laborers the day off, however most Landowners allowed their laborers to have the day off some even donated food or money. During one of the early celebrations of Juneteenth the Rev. Jack Yates held a fund raiser that yielded $1000.00 along with enough money to purchase Emancipation park in Houston , Texas.

Juneteenth continued to be celebrated by the African American community throughout the south until the crippling economic realities of the great depression laid waste to millions of peoples fortunes, life savings, ect. African Americans who were already suffering from crippling poverty as well as blatant racial intimidation, where left without any extra money to celebrate Umpteenth or most other holidays. So having more urgent and pressing needs Junteeth was not widely celebrated and was somewhat forgotten in the African American community until the civil rights movement of the 60's and 70‘s.


In 1980 the Texas legislator passed a law making Juneteenth (
http://www.elecvillage.com/juneteen.htm) an official holiday. The passing of this legislation was made possible due to the efforts of Al Edwards, an African American state legislator from Texas. Nationally known museums such as the Smithsonian, the Henry Ford Museum have both started sponsoring Juneteenth-centered events. No doubt as African Americans work their way up the social and economic latter more of us will celebrate and honor June 19 or Juneteenth as a day of reflection that all Americans not just African Americans can be proud of. Major Kudos to the Freed people for making Juneteenth a day that all of the world will come to know, love and respect. Mark Bey

8 comments:

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

TO Mark


Thanks for the info I did not know about juneteeth until reading your post (essay)good info you have. WE as black people should never forget the hard sacrifices that certain people both black and white made to help blacks become free.

Take care, mark


BY CHANCE

Asabagna said...

Very Informative. Thanks for the knowledge.

James Manning said...

I've never celebrated this. I wonder if it is a Texas thing.

Thanks for visiting the blog.

mark said...

Yo James I never celebrated it ever. However I think the point of Juneteenth is to commerate the day that the last slave in america was liberated and as we black folk get our acts together more and more and are truly free it propably will take on more meaning for us. Mark

field negro said...

Keep dropping that knowledge Mark!

FN

Soulfull said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Soulfull said...

Oh, yeah, I'm linking to you... :)

Soulfull said...

***okay, let me type this again with less excitement and spelling errors, lol****

Hi Mark! It's my first time here, but I find your blog quite interesting and informative! On the subject of Juneteenth, I agree that it definitely is another testament to the beauty of our people! Now if we can get mass media on board to possibly do a better job of celebrating/promoting this, then our youngsters could be all the more wiser because of it. Until then, we have great blogs like yours to help pass on the knowledge!