December 6th, 1865:
- The 13th amendment was ratified by enough States and was added to the constitution. Juneteenth, at first, was only celebrated within the African American community, consisting of playing games eating various foods and dressing in their Sunday’s best clothing to symbolize that they no longer had to wear the clothing of slavery.
- Sometimes the white plantation owners would oppose the celebration by refusing to let their newly freed slaves use their property for the Juneteenth celebrations. In response, Juneteenth celebrations mostly took place at churches or on donated land.
- Eventually, in the 1890’s, sites like Emancipation Park in Houston, TX, and Booker T. Washington Park in Mexia, TX were established specifically for holding Juneteenth celebrations. During the early 1900s, interest in celebrating Juneteenth declined.
The Emancipation Proclamation:
The Emancipation Proclamation
was credited with ending slavery, and General Granger's role in freeing the Texas slaves 2 1/2 years after the proclamation.
The Great Depression (1930’s):
In the 1930s, the Great Depression forced many former slaves off the farms in the south and into the cities for jobs. Unless
fell on a weekend, there were very few participants available to celebrate as they had to go to work.
Civil Rights Movements (1950’s--1960’s):
Awareness for Juneteenth increased again during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. African Americans reconnected with this important historic part of their slave and ancestors’ heritage and used it to fuel their fight
for equal rights
The People's March in Washington DC (1968):
The poor people's March in Washington DC in 1968 inspired many African Americans to begin celebrating Juneteenth again. Thus, during the next several years, African American state legislator, Al Edwards, helped to increase awareness of Juneteenth until it was finally declared an official
State Holiday in Texas on January 1st, 1980
Today, Juneteenth is widely celebrated; it is a day for celebrating African American freedom and achievements.
The Smithsonian, The Henry Ford Museum, The National Museum of African American History and Cultural, and many other institutions sponsor activities and celebrations for Juneteenth, hoping to educate more people about African American history and culture in general.
However, Juneteenth has also evolved into a more national symbolic celebration of respect and appreciation for people of all cultures.
There is a Bill introduced in Washington to make Juneteenth (June 19
) a National Holiday. This may be the year to get that passed. Stay tuned
My book below,
"DRIVEN TO SUCCEED:...
" tells my story of racism, segregation, and discxrimination in the 1950's and Virginia's resistance to
The Brown v. Board of Education
Landmark Case (1954) that caused all of the schools in Prince Edward County, VA to close down in 1959 for five years. I was 11 years old in the 5th grade; therefore, my father sent me to Norfolk to stay with strangers to finish high school.
God intervened and helped me to overcome the obstacles and seemingly roadblocks. I share my inspiring and compelling story and lessons learned in spite of the challenges faced. These lessons are helping me during these challenging times: the pandemic and other observations of racism, mistreatment and heart-wrenching grief of our fellow brothers and sisters.
I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE TO JUST HOLD ON;
KEEP THE FAITH; AND
CHANGE IS GONNA COME!