An Article by: Johnathan Allen, BSNM Social Media Intern
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration of African American freedom. The name Juneteenth comes from the date itself, June 19th.
In June of 1865 Major Gen. Gordon Granger led his union troops to Galveston, Texas to free the slaves, even though President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery on January 1, 1863. It took nearly 2 ½ years for the news about freedom to reach the state of Texas. There are many rumors circulating with historians about why the information was delayed: One theory is that the union messenger was murdered on his way to Texas, Another was that slave owners withheld the information to maintain a labor force for their plantations, Lastly some historians say slave owners wanted to get one more cotton harvest before the slaves were freed.
Juneteenth officially became a holiday in Texas in 1980, but is celebrated across the country; over 35 states. We now wave this Independence flag with family and friends over barbecue, parades, and games to celebrate freedom, empowerment, and culture.