Juneteenth, which is June 19th every year, is an African American day of celebration that’s gaining more and more recognition, observance, and influence?throughout the United States. You may wonder what?it is. I’m glad you asked. On this day in 1865 the slaves of Galveston Texas received word of the Emancipation Proclamation. Yes, that is?more than?two years after it was issued! This makes?that day?the actual end of slavery in North America. It’s crazy to think that slave owners were able to keep such remarkable news from their slaves, but not all that surprising considering the time and the high stakes.
Fast forward 143 years and a black man is preparing to become the next president of the United States. Had you told the slaves?who were freed in Texas?that?such a thing?could be possible I am certain they would not have believed you. They may have even laughed at you. A lot?of history?has been?made?in the years between Juneteenth and today, and?even more will?be made?between today and when Obama takes his post in January 2009.
In?our home we celebrate and commemorate Juneteenth simply by discussing slavery in simple terms with our son and?sitting down to a nice meal. It’s important to have this discussion with children from young because slavery?and?other elements of black history should not be solely relegated to February.
Enjoy the day and remember: This isn’t just black history, it’s American history. We must acknowledge?the past if we are to have any kind of future!