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Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state
U.S. state
of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States. Its name is a portmanteau of "June" and "nineteenth", the date of its celebration.[1][2] Juneteenth
Juneteenth
is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states.[3] The holiday is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation
Emancipation
Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Lift Every Voice and Sing", and reading of works by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison
Ralph Ellison
and Maya Angelou.[4] Celebrations may include parades, rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, or Miss Juneteenth
Juneteenth
contests.[5] The Mascogos, descendants of Black Seminoles, of Coahuila, Mexico
Mexico
also celebrate the Juneteenth.[6]

Contents

1 History 2 Official status 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

History[edit]

Ashton Villa, from whose front balcony General Order #3 was read on June 19, 1865

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
issued the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863. It declared all slaves to be freed in the Confederate States of America
Confederate States of America
in rebellion and not in Union hands. This excluded the five states known later as border states, which were the four slave states that were not in rebellion—Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri—and those counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia, and also the three zones under Union occupation: the state of Tennessee, lower Louisiana and Southeast Virginia. More isolated geographically, Texas
Texas
was not a battleground, and thus its slaves were not affected by the Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation
unless they escaped.[7] Planters and other slaveholders had migrated into Texas
Texas
from eastern states to escape the fighting, and many brought their slaves with them, increasing by the thousands the number of slaves in the state at the end of the Civil War.[8] Although most enslaved people lived in rural areas, more than 1000 resided in both Galveston and Houston by 1860, with several hundred in other large towns.[9] By 1865, there were an estimated 250,000 enslaved people in Texas.[8] The older, and Hispanic, town of San Antonio had 168 enslaved people among a population of 3,436.[9] The news of General Robert E. Lee's surrender on April 9 moved slowly, it did not reach Texas
Texas
until May 1865, and the Army of the Trans-Mississippi did not surrender until June 2.[8] On June 18, 1865, Union Army
Union Army
General Gordon Granger
Gordon Granger
arrived at Galveston Island
Galveston Island
with 2,000 federal troops to occupy Texas
Texas
on behalf of the federal government.[7] On June 19, standing on the balcony of Galveston's Ashton Villa, Granger read aloud the contents of "General Order No. 3", announcing the total emancipation of slaves:

The people of Texas
Texas
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 between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.[10]

Emancipation
Emancipation
Day celebration in Richmond, Virginia in 1905

Former slaves in Galveston rejoiced in the streets after the announcement, although in the years afterward many struggled to work through the changes against resistance of whites. The following year, freedmen organized the first of what became the annual celebration of Juneteenth
Juneteenth
in Texas.[10] In some cities African-Americans were barred from using public parks because of state-sponsored segregation of facilities. Across parts of Texas, freed people pooled their funds to purchase land to hold their celebrations, such as Houston's Emancipation
Emancipation
Park, Mexia's Booker T. Washington Park, and Emancipation Park in Austin.[8][10] Although the date is sometimes referred to as the "traditional end of slavery in Texas" it was given legal status in a series of Texas Supreme Court decisions between 1868 and 1874.[11] In the early 20th century, economic and political forces led to a decline in Juneteenth
Juneteenth
celebrations. From 1890 to 1908, Texas
Texas
and all former Confederate states passed new constitutions or amendments that effectively disenfranchised black people, excluding them from the political process. White-dominated state legislatures passed Jim Crow laws imposing second-class status. The Great Depression
Great Depression
forced many black people off farms and into the cities to find work. In these urban environments, African Americans
African Americans
had difficulty taking the day off to celebrate. The Second Great Migration began during World War II, when many black people migrated to the West Coast where skilled jobs in the defense industry were opening up.[12] From 1940 through 1970, in the second wave of the Great Migration, more than 5 million black people left Texas, Louisiana and other parts of the South for the North and West Coast. As historian Isabel Wilkerson
Isabel Wilkerson
writes, "The people from Texas
Texas
took Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Day to Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and other places they went."[13] By the 1950s and 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights Movement
focused the attention of African-American youth on the struggle for racial equality and the future. But, many linked these struggles to the historical struggles of their ancestors. Following the 1968 Poor People's Campaign to Washington D.C. called by Rev. Ralph Abernathy, many attendees returned home and initiated Juneteenth
Juneteenth
celebrations in areas where the day was not previously celebrated. Since the 1980s and 1990s, the holiday has been more widely celebrated among African-American communities. In 1994 a group of community leaders gathered at Christian Unity Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana to work for greater national celebration of Juneteenth.[14] Paul Herring Chairman of The Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Committee credits Mrs. E. Hill Deloney (Community Matriarch) for starting the celebration in Flint, Michigan in the late 1980s; as he said, "...It's a time to Reflect & Rejoice, because we are the children of those who chose to survive."[15] Juneteenth
Juneteenth
informal observance have spread to many other states, including Portland, Maine, in part carried by Texans. Expatriates have celebrated it in cities abroad, such as Paris.[15] Some US military bases in other countries sponsor celebrations, in addition to those of private groups.[15][16] Organizations such as the National Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Observance Foundation are working toward gaining Congressional approval to designate Juneteenth
Juneteenth
as a national day of observance.[8] Others[who?] are working to have its 150th anniversary celebrated worldwide. Official status[edit] In 1980, Texas
Texas
was the first state to establish Juneteenth
Juneteenth
as a state holiday under legislation introduced by freshman Democratic state representative Al Edwards.[17] Juneteenth
Juneteenth
is a "skeleton crew" day in the state; government offices do not close but agencies may operate with reduced staff. By 2008, nearly half of US states observed the holiday as a ceremonial observance.[7] As of May 2016, when the Maryland legislature approved official recognition of the holiday, 45 of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth
Juneteenth
as either a state holiday or ceremonial holiday, a day of observance.[18] States that do not recognize it are Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota and South Dakota.[19] In 1996 the first legislation to recognize " Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Independence Day" was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.J. Res. 195, sponsored by Barbara-Rose Collins
Barbara-Rose Collins
(D-MI). In 1997 Congress recognized the day through Senate Joint Resolution 11 and House Joint Resolution 56. In 2013 the U.S. Senate passed Senate Resolution 175, acknowledging Lula Briggs Galloway (late president of the National Association of Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Lineage) who "successfully worked to bring national recognition to Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Independence Day", and the continued leadership of the National Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Observance Foundation.[20] In 2018 Apple added Juneteenth
Juneteenth
to its calendars in iOS under official US holidays.[citation needed] See also[edit]

African American
African American
portal Texas
Texas
portal

Slavery
Slavery
in the United States Emancipation
Emancipation
Day Negro Election Day History of African Americans
African Americans
in Texas 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Serfs Emancipation
Emancipation
Day

References[edit]

^ " Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Celebrated in Coachella". Black Voice News. June 22, 2011. Archived from the original on January 22, 2012.  ^ "Juneteenth". Merriam Webster Dictionary. Retrieved May 30, 2013.  ^ "National Observance of Juneteenth
Juneteenth
is Still a Struggle". Retrieved June 13, 2017.  ^ Taylor, 2002. pp. 28–29. ^ "How to Celebrate". Juneteenth.com. Retrieved June 19, 2014. [self-published source] ^ "Mascogos. Siempre listos para partir". El Universal (in Spanish). 19 September 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2017. Sin embargo, la fiesta de la comunidad es el 19 de junio —el Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Day en Estados Unidos— el día que los esclavos de Galveston, Texas, supieron que eran libres.  ^ a b c Cruz, Gilbert (June 18, 2008). "A Brief History of Juneteenth". Time magazine. Retrieved May 30, 2013.  ^ a b c d e Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. "What Is Juneteenth?". The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. PBS. Originally posted on The Root. Retrieved September 30, 2014.  ^ a b Barr (1996), p. 24. ^ a b c "Juneteenth". Texas
Texas
State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved July 6, 2006.  ^ Campbell, Randolph (1984). "The End of Slavery
Slavery
in Texas: A Research Note". Southwestern Historical Quarterly. 88 (1): 71–80.  ^ Adams, Luther (2010-11-29). Way Up North in Louisville: African American Migration in the Urban South, 1930-1970. Univ of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807899434.  ^ Wilkerson, Isabel (2010). The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration. New York: Random House. Retrieved June 19, 2015.  ^ Chandler, D.L. (June 19, 2012). "Juneteenth: Celebrating The Early Moments Of Freedom Today". News One. Retrieved June 19, 2014.  ^ a b c Moskin, Julie (June 18, 2004). "An Obscure Texas
Texas
Celebration Makes Its Way Across the U.S." The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2011.  ^ "The World Celebrates Freedom". Juneteenth.com. Retrieved June 19, 2006.  ^ Dingus, Anne (June 2001). "Once a Texas-only holiday marking the end of slavery, Juneteenth
Juneteenth
is now celebrated nationwide with high spirits and hot barbecue". Texas
Texas
Monthly. Retrieved October 11, 2013.  ^ "Maryland". Retrieved July 19, 2016.  ^ Brown, Stacy M. (May 30, 2014). " Juneteenth
Juneteenth
officially recognized in Maryland". Baltimore Times. Retrieved October 1, 2014.  ^ "S.Res.175 - A resolution observing Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Independence Day, June 19, 1865, the day on which slavery finally came to an end in the United States". United States
United States
Congress. June 19, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Juneteenth.

Juneteenth
Juneteenth
History, website for Juneteenth
Juneteenth
World Wide Celebration JENNIFER SCHUESSLER, "Liberation as Death Sentence", The New York Times, June 11, 2012 Berkeley Juneteenth
Juneteenth
Festival, 2014 celebration Juneteenth: Fact Sheet Congressional Research Service Juneteenth
Juneteenth
in United States Juneteenth
Juneteenth
World Wide Celebration, website for 150th anniversary celebration

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v t e

Texas
Texas
in the American Civil War

Origins

History of slavery in Texas

1861

Ordinance of Secession

1862

Marshall Conferences Nueces Massacre Battle of Corpus Christi First Battle of Sabine Pass Battle of Galveston
Battle of Galveston
Harbor (1862) Great Hanging at Gainesville

1863

Battle of Galveston Second Battle of Sabine Pass Battle of Brownsville

1864

Battle of Laredo

1865

Battle of Dove Creek Battle of Palmito Ranch

Units

Confederate units Union units

Aftermath

Juneteenth Texas
Texas
v. White Andrew Hamilton

Categ


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