Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Friday, June 19, 2009

Juneteeth!

Juneteenth celebrates the freedom of over 250,000 slaves at the close of the Civil War. The holiday is based on events that occurred in Texas but is now celebrated nationwide. The celebration takes its name from June 19, 1865, the day federal troops arrived in Galveston to inform people of the Emancipation Proclamation made by President Lincoln. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and hence forward shall be free."

Although, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.
News of the war's end did not reach Texas until well after the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.

The Proclamation had taken effect on January 1, 1863 and freed few, if any, slaves. Many speculate that the news was deliberately withheld so that slave owners could bring in one last crop. Others believe that the news was delayed because the messenger traveled by mule while some believe the original messenger was murdered in route.
When the news was finally delivered, it was celebrated in great fashion.


"But, if this part of our history could be told in such a way that those chains of the past, those shackles that physically bound us together against our wills could, in the telling, become spiritual links that willingly bind us together now and into the future - then that painful Middle Passage could become, ironically, a positive connecting line to all of us whether living inside or outside the continent of Africa..."

Tom Feelings

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