Hello, Bookworms. Today is Juneteenth.
I was taught in school about the end of slavery in America, but have no recollection of Juneteenth. I didn’t even know Juneteenth was a thing until recently. I’m 99.99% sure I wasn’t taught about this particular event.
So I did some research on this topic and a lot of interesting things about those last few years of the American Civil War. Here’s what I found:
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a holiday in observance and celebration of the end of slavery (of freedom) in Galveston, Texas, which occurred two and a half years after then president Abrahman Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, and Juneteenth Independence Day.
There are many ways to celebrate Juneteenth: food and parades, outdoor parties and family gatherings, education and prayer.
What happened before Juneteenth?
Within this historic document, Lincoln declared the freedom to slaves only in Confederate-controlled states. He warned that he would free slaves if said states didn’t returned to the Union. He even offered compensation if they did. None complied; thereafter the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863.
The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865 after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrender at Appomattox, Virginia following the Battle of Appomattox Court House.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger (Union) arrived in Galveston, TX with news that the Civil War was over and that the enslaved African Americans were free. But slavery would not be formally abolished nationwide until the ratification of the 13th Amendment.
And that brings us to today, June 19, 2020, America at a crossroads, fighting for change to reform systemic racism and police brutality against black Americans. We must continue to help make black voices heard as we work towards a more equal tomorrow.
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