Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Juneteenth, TransGriot Readers!

I'll hopefully be chowing down on barbecue and drinking my strawberry soda at somebody's house later today.

It's a traditional thing to do during a born in Texas holiday called Juneteenth. It will also be the first one I celebrate back in the Lone Star State since I moved back here a month ago.

So what's it all about? We Texans celebrate the June 19, 1865 reading of General Order No. 3 by Union General Gordon Granger that emancipated all Texas slaves in the aftermath of the Civil War.

"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. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere."

Union Major General Gordon Granger, Galveston TX, June 19, 1865

From that day forward, we celebrated the day as Emancipation Day or Juneteenth. Wherever Black Texans migrated, we took the holiday with us.

So on that note, time for me to get some sleep. Have a busy day ahead of me.

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