Tuesday, June 19, 2018

JUNETEENTH - Today, 19 June.

When I arrived in the USA, 14 years ago, I'd never heard of Juneteenth. I have to admit too, that for years I had only the vaguest of ideas what it's all about. For anyone else in the same state of semi-ignorance, here are links to a couple of good, helpful articles.

12 Things You Might Not Know About Juneteenth
By Stacy Conradt.

That piece begins:
There's more than one Independence Day in the U.S. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and announced that slaves were now free. Since then, June 19 has been celebrated as Juneteenth across the nation. Here's what you should know about the historic event and celebration....
Texas Matters: Juneteenth Stories And Why They Matter
By David Martin Davies.
June 19 1865 is when word of emancipation finally reached Texas and its slave population. The news was delivered two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and about two months after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered.

But what did "emancipation" mean for the no-longer slaves? Many were quickly reabsorbed into an economic system that looked similar to the slavery life. Others found liberty by establishing Freedom Colonies across the South, town-like communities of former slaves that frequently became self-sustaining. Nevertheless, the freedom to self-determine and pursue one's abilities and dreams to the fullest would be generations away. And even today there is still work to be done.

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