Thursday, June 19, 2008
I realize that many people have not ever heard of Juneteenth. Maybe you've heard about it, but you're not sure what it is. Well, today, June 19th, is Juneteenth.
Wikipedia says this: Though the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had little immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives, particularly in Texas, which was almost entirely under Confederate control. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves.
A Union general named Gordon Granger went with his troops to Galveston. He read an order that basically told the slaves once and for all - that they were FREE. They could could continue to remain where they lived and work for wages. One part of the Order declared "an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves..."
The belief that all slaves immediately were free after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is a misconception. Many slaves pooled their money and puchased land together.
In this day and age of text messaging, IM'ing, emails, webcams and more - it is hard for us to wrap our brain around the idea of not having important info in our hands the second it's been thought of. Anyway, I thought I would pass this info on to any of you that never knew the history of Juneteenth. It is a very important day in our American history and it saddens me that not many people know about it. So, pass it on!