6/19/07

Happy Juneteenth!

"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 rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."
On this day in 1865, Union soldiers arrived into Galveston, Texas, U.S.A. to read the above declaration, informing the people of Texas that slavery had been abolished —more than 2 and a half years after it had been written into law.

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued January 1, 1863, but it took two and half years for the news to arrive in Galveston. It is generally believed that there was not a strong enough Union presence in Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation until 1865 and the arrival of the Union troops.

Juneteenth is a day for reflection, to celebrate African-American culture, and enjoy food together, especially barbeque and strawberry soda pop.

While celebrating Juneteenth has fallen out of popularity, it is an official state holiday in Texas.

If you want to learn more, check out this site.

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