What is Juneteenth?
While we all celebrate and know about the day the United States became free on the 4th of July, it still took 87 more years for Abraham Lincoln to emancipate slavery and free the Black slaves
Juneteenth, is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19; it is also known as Freedom Day, or Jubilee Day.
It is a celebration of the journey and freedom of Black people in the US. It is a great opportunity to remind all Americans of the many contributions that
Black people have contributed to the American culture.
It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were now free.
It is important to know that the “Emancipation Proclamation” that freed the 250,000 enslaved people in Texas had been issued By Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 or 2 years and half before General Grander announced it in Galveston, Texas.
So, the enslaved people were actually free for 2 and half years and didn’t even know it.
There were few reasons for that:
Texas is a large state and the General’s order and the manpower needed to spread and apply it were slow to come
No one was in a rush to let them know
Some say that some Texans suppressed the announcement
Another theory is that the messenger that carried the news was murdered to prevent him from propagating or sharing the news
The Federal government then postponed it to get one more cotton harvest on the books before announcing it
The proclamation that was issued by Abraham Lincoln might have not been enforceable before the end of the war in the rebel states
As per the Proclamation, the slaves were freed, and offered equality of equality of personal rights and rights of property, where the relationships changed from masters and slaves to employer and hired labor.
The freedmen were advised to work for wages but staying at their present homes.
But most did not want to stay where they were enslaved working for the people that enslaved them even if they were paid for heir work. So, many left Texas to connect with family members or better welcoming places in the northern regions – it was known as “The Scatter”
At this point, you would believe that things will change for the well-being of the Blacks that were just freed after suffering for decades.
But the sad reality is that many were not allowed to leave as their previous owners still felt as if they were still their property.