Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Juneteenth 2011

Today is Juneteenth, the June 19, 1865 day when Union Major General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3  from the balcony of Galveston's Aston Villa in the aftermath of the recently concluded War To Perpetuate Slavery. . 

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
With those words, Texas slaves were freed and a jubilant celebration commenced in the streets of Galveston and elsewhere amongst African American Texans.   That day became known as Emancipation Day or Juneteenth and starting in 1866 was celebrated as a holiday among African American Texans until the early 20th century.   It experienced a revival in Texas in the 70's, became an official Texas state holiday in 1980 and is now celebrated in 37 states. 

So break out the strawberry soda and barbecue, time to celebrate everything we've accomplished as a people here in Texas and beyond.  

Juneteenth is a time to also remember the sacrifices our ancestors made so we'd have a better life than they did, and rededicate ourselves to ensuring our future generations have it even better than us despite the attempts of conservafools to roll everything back.

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