Happy Juneteenth!!!

Today is the day that I will celebrate my independence day.  In fact, I won’t be alone either.  All across this country, there will be barbeques, parties, and maybe even a parade or two.  Those not celebrating today because it’s Friday will likely do so tomorrow if they haven’t celebrated already.

Why celebrate independence today and not on the Fourth of July?  It’s because today is Juneteenth.  If you don’t know about Juneteenth, here’s a quick rundown.

“Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.”–Courtesy of Juneteenth.com

On June 19, 1865, General Granger read aloud his General Order #3 to the people of Galveston, Texas that read as follows:

General Order #3

“The people 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, become that between employer and hired labor. The freed are advised to remain 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 all the sadness in the news lately, I’d rather focus on something a bit happier.  I just returned from a great vacation with the family that I may post about later on.  We celebrated then as we will celebrate today.  Our celebration will include prayers for those in Charleston, South Carolina and everywhere else who are mourning the loss of loved ones.

Richmond, VA Juneteenth celebration from 1905, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

So, to all those who are descendants of slaves no matter how far back or what race, Happy Independence Day!!!

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Happy Juneteenth!!!

    • Just came back from Grand Cayman Island and Cozumel. I’m deciding between a pineapple or vanilla rum from the Caymans, tequila from Mexico, or the good old trusty Crown Royal. 🙂

      Going to cookout for Father’s Day with the family as well, so whatever I don’t open today will be served up on Sunday.

      Thanks for the wishes!!

      Like

  1. Happy Juneteenth! Humanity’s conscience develops slowly, and not without a few steps back every now and then, but it does develop.

    Like

  2. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve given it some thought–a good five minutes or so–and have come to conclude that Juneteenth ought to replace the traditional 4th of July celebration.

    Like

    • You know, I still celebrate them both. I wouldn’t expect the entire country to celebrate Juneteenth because it specifically involves slavery. Many people still choose to run away from that part of our history instead of owning up to it and the legacy it left behind.

      I celebrate the 4th, but as I’ve gotten older, Juneteenth has taken on a more important part of what I choose to acknowledge. I don’t expect it to ever be made a national holiday, but there is significance around it given the celebration was more than two years after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Shows how much our instant society has evolved when it comes to dispensing news.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s