Juneteenth Marker in Galveston, TX - Commemorated annually on June 19th, Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the U.S. the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Sep. 22, 1862, announced, "that on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any state…in rebellion against the U.S. shall be then, thenceforward and forever free." However, it would take the Civil War and passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to end the brutal institution of African American slavery.
After the Civil War ended in April 1865 most slaves in Texas were still unaware of their freedom. This began to change when Union troops arrived in Galveston. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, Commanding Officer, District of Texas, from his headquarters in the Osterman Building (Strand and 22nd St.), read "General Order No. 3" on June 19, 1865. The order 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." With this notice, Reconstruction Era Texas began. Freed African Americans observed "Emancipation Day," as it was first known, as early as 1866 in Galveston. As community gatherings grew across Texas, celebrations included parades, prayer, singing, and readings of the proclamation.
In 1979, former Houston state representative, Al Edwards, known as the "Father of the Juneteenth Holiday, introduced the bill that made Juneteenth a state holiday in Texas. He passed away on April 29, 2020.
Popular foods to eat during Juneteenth are ribs, red pop, red velvet cake, and watermelon. Red represents the blood that was shed, resilience, and ingenuity. Big Red is the popular drink in Texas for Juneteenth.
Please listen to my interview with Jada Moore on her show, "Moore to the Story," to commemorate Juneteenth. Please support and follow her podcast @mttsthepodcast.
Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Sound Cloud, Google Play, YouTube & Moore!
Juneteenth is recognized by 57 states including the District of Columbia as a day of observance or a state holiday.
On June 19, 2020, senators proposed a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
The bill was proposed by Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Booker, Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is a cosponsor.
Remember the struggles of our ancestors that have paved the way for us. As a community, we need to unify and build financial independence. Our black dollar holds significant weight to support black businesses, promote black love, and build our youth to be future leaders.