Emancipation Day celebration – 1900. Image via Wikipedia

Slavery chain don broke at last!
Broke at last, broke at last!
Slavery chain don broke at last!
Gonna praise God till I die!


Image via Son of the South

Today is the day that General Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation on the balcony of the Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas to the remaining slaves two years after slavery was over on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth now is recognized in over 40 states. It is African Americans true day of freedom.

General Gordan Granger. Image via Wikipedia

“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…” From General Order #3, read by Gen. Gordon Granger, June 19, 1865.

“Today Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.”

Emancipation Proclamation image via Wikipedia

Many would like Juneteenth to become a national holiday. Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., the founder and chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) said, “We are hopeful that Congress will finally enact legislation to establish the ’19th of June’ on all calendars as America’s 2nd Independence Day… We are not asking for a paid federal holiday, but a national day of observance, like Flag Day and Patriot Day.”

Ashton Villa image via Wikipedia

Go out, celebrate and be proud of where we have come from!! For a list of events, click here.

Sources: BlackPast.org, MSN. Juneteenth.com and USA Today.

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