Over two years after President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, which brought a legal end to slavery in America, the oppression of the enslaved in some “hold-out” states did not translate into actual freedom. Southern states that split far from the Union at the time didn’t submit to the proclamation and failed to honor the law. Despite hold-out states efforts to suppress the message of freedom for all, nevertheless, the message of opportunity spread gradually leading to the
end of slavery in all states by 1865.
While more than 250,000 slaves had served in the Civil War once the Emancipation Proclamationprogressed toward becoming law, the updates on opportunity traveled gradually all through numerous Southern states, including Texas the last hold-out state.
Juneteenth, which comes from combining the words June and nineteenth, honors the date General Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Texas to assume responsibility for the Confederate state, reporting the news that bondage had finished and enforcing it. Here are 4 reasons we celebrate Juneteenth.
1. Juneteenth represents freedom for the black community
The news of the end of slavery traveled gradually because it wasn’t shared with enslaved in certain states, and for the individuals who were to a great extent detached from Union armed forces, life proceeded as though opportunity did not exist. This was particularly the situation in Texas, where a huge number of enslaved were not aware of their freedom until June 19, 1865, when Union Gen.Gordon Granger touched base in Galveston and issued a request formally liberating them.
Despite the declaration, Texas slave owners weren't willing to consider parting with what they felt was their property. At the point when lawfully liberated slaves endeavored to leave, many of them were beaten, lynched, and/or murdered.
2. It’s a Black History and American History
Juneteenth is where we venture back and attempt to comprehend the Civil War through the eyes of the enslaved. Juneteenth represents the day when all individuals from all races, color and backgrounds were all legally equivalent. That is the reason why the Juneteenth banner depicts imagery speaking to the general population as one. The colors of red, white, and blue on the Texas state flag symbolize that the enslaved and their relatives were “full” Americans. The star in the center pays tribute to Texas, while the blasting “new star” seemingly within easy reach of the red and blue fields speaks to another opportunity
and free people.
3. It fortifies the significance of family and social conventions
As the custom of Juneteenth spread across the U.S., distinctive territories put diverse twists on festivities. In southern states, the occasion is customarily celebrated with oral accounts and readings, “soda water”; or strawberry soda, and barbecues. A few states serve up a “Marcus Garvey” plate of mixed greens with red, green, and dark beans, to pay tribute to the Black Nationalist. Rodeos have become part of the tradition in the southwest, while contests, concerts, and parades are a common theme across the country.
4. It’s a portrayal of perseverance and triumph of the black community
Celebrating Juneteenth and the end of slavery does not turn a blind eye to the injustices black people continue to face as a race and culture under the guise of liberty and justice for all. While the day is celebratory in nature, it is the perfect opportunity to recognize and pay tribute to those who – both historically and in modern times – have been tragic victims of white supremacy.
Juneteenth traces the grey clouds with a silver lining of hope that society can and will continue to progress and projects the message of true liberation and equality activists and organizers have worked towards for decades.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.