If you don’t know what Juneteenth is, it’s the day that word of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Texas. Slaves in texas had actually been “free” for several months before they found this out.
From the Texas State Library:
Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, is the name given to emancipation day by African-Americans in Texas. On that day in 1865 Union Major General Gordon Granger read General Order #3 to the people of Galveston. General Order #3 stated “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.
Of course, things didn’t immediately resolve themselves on Emancipation Day. They still aren’t resolved. We have a long way to go.
Racialious had an interesting post last week, where they pointed out that history has an interesting sense of timing:
August 28, 1955 – Emmitt Till is murdered in Mississippi
August 28, 1963 – Martin Luther King gives his “I Have A Dream Speech”
August 28, 2008 – Barack Obama accepts his nomination officially at the DNC
That’s just amazing.
And WE did it. And WE–all of us–must keep pushing for the “absolute equality of personal rights” promised almost 150 years ago.