Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Juneteenth!

Today we're celebrating a hot summertime holiday known as Juneteenth. It's a big deal here in Texas. If you aren't familiar with the history of Juneteenth, Baby Boy has written a few words (he's a young man of very few words) to get you caught up on the subject.

What is today? Today is June 19th, casually known as Juneteenth, formally known as Emancipation Day.

Why do we celebrate this day? This day is a huge deal, especially for African Americans. This is the day in history that they were freed from slavery. It is usually celebrated with parades, special ceremonies, and cook-outs.

When did the original event that led to this day take place? Though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862 and legally went into effect on January 1, 1863, it wasn't actually enforced until June 19, 1865, two and a half years later. It was commemorated when Major General Gordon Granger with 2000 federal troops in tow arrived in Galveston, Texas to take possession of the struggle to emancipate the slaves. It is strongly believed that the reason the Texans had not heard news of the Emancipation Proclamation before was because slave masters willfully withheld the information in order to maintain free labor on their plantations, although that has been disputed.

And that's your American History lesson for today . . .


Freakmom said...

Happy Juneteenth! Thanks, Baby Boy, for that history lesson. I'm not sure how much of it I ever knew. (Then again, I'm a victim of public school, so I didn't really learn much.)

Holly said...

So, let me show my ignorance more (or just have it remvoed :-) ). Is this a Texas thing? Or a whole U.S. thing? I have heard of it before, but I've never lived in a state where it was commemerated in anyway that I was aware of (CT and CA so it's not like I've lived in that many states).

DS is into the civil war at the moment and goes aound calling me Ms Lincoln. I'm waiting for the moment to share that she was insane. Eh, maybe he's not too off.

As a funny aside (and looking at your side thing a ma boppy. The Chinese for dad is baba, he calls me mama. When he doesn't care he comes, he calls for us, "Oh, ba-ma." No joke.

Holly said...

Oh, I moved.

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