Celebrating Juneteenth

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Booklet in recognition of Juneteenth a holiday and celebration honoring the notification of african slaves in the United States who learned of The Emancipation Proclamation 1-1/2 years late in Galveston, Texas.

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Celebrating Juneteenth

  1. 1. Abbreviated Timeline to Freedom 1526 First African slaves brought to the United States JUNETEENTH 1776 Declaration of Independence adopted without antislavery provisions 1863 Emancipation Proclamation went into affect freeing the slaves 1865 Slaves in Galveston, Texas were told they were free by “General Order 3” Source: Black Quizzes, African-American History & Trivia by Ronald Mathis ISBN 0-9722894-4-5 Ideas to acknowledge or celebrate Juneteenth JUNE 19th • Plan a simple celebration with children, pick up a cake and go to school or day care center and tell them about Juneteenth. • Plan a event, cookout or gathering at your house, job or place of worship. • Write a blog, do a poll or make a video about Juneteenth and share Lift Every Voice and Sing it with others. James Weldon Johnson (lyrics) • Learn (memorize) all of the words to the Negro National Anthem Lift J. Rosamond Johnson (music) Every Voice and Sing and require your children to learn it too. Verse 2 & Refrain 2 • Take a moment to reflect upon those who have gone before us. • For more info, ideas and event locations: http://www.juneteenth.com/ Stony the road we trod, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, Bitter the chastening rod Felt in the days when hope unborn had died, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Yet with a steady beat, Marcus Garvey Have not weary feet Come to the place for which our fathers sighed? We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, Out from the gloomy past, ‘Til now we stand at last Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast “I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a Presented by: Community Acting Now right to liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other”. Email: info@communityactingnow.com ~Harriett Tubman~
  2. 2. What is Juneteenth? U.S. National Archives & Records Administration—www.archives.gov Many of us grew up learning that when Abraham Lincoln signed The Emancipation Proclamation slavery in America was abolished and all slaves were freed. The Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863 (transcript) Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty- Although, that was the original intention, the proclamation was actually signed on Sep- two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the follow- tember 22, 1862 and was to become effective on January 1, 1863. Imagine a world ing, to wit: without phones and email a country that had fought a vicious civil war to hold on to the "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons horror of slavery. As a result, it took a long time for word to spread to everyone that held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against slavery had actually been abolished. For many slaves there was no change for some the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United time. In Galveston, Texas, slaves did not receive word that they had actually been States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, freed until June 19, 1865. One and a half years later! Slaves celebrated and the tradi- and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom. tion of this joyous occasion which started in Texas is called Juneteenth and it contin- ues to spread and live on today. "That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and I never learned about Juneteenth in school or even from my parents, why is it the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State important that I learn about this now? shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States." On July 4, 1776 America celebrated it’s independence from England through The Declaration of Independence. This significant event was the birth of our nation and that Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Com- mander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority is why we celebrate the 4th of July. But guess what? Africans in America remained and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, slaves and were not free. It was not until 1863 that it became an order of law that on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance slaves where actually freed. On December 31, 1862 slaves gathered in churches with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above waiting to see if The Emancipation Proclamation would actually go into effect as mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit: scheduled on January 1, 1863. This gathering was called “Watch Night”. Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, In most states, The Emancipation Proclamation was acknowledged on it’s effective St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the date of January 1, 1863. However, word spread slowly and no one told the state of forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Eliza- Texas. It was not until, June 19, 1865 that the people of Galveston, Texas, were told beth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted by Union General Granger who arrived with 2000 federal troops. He was sent to en- parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued. force the emancipation of slaves. General Granger read what is known as General And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves Order No. 3. within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain African Americans need to know that true emancipation or freedom was not realized the freedom of said persons. by all slaves until June 19, 1865. Roughly, 1 and 1/2 years after The Emancipation of And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self- Proclamation and 89 years after the United States of America declared it’s independ- defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages. ence. And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts Today, on June 19th - Juneteenth continues to be celebrated, especially in Texas in said service. where it is a state holiday. As African Americans moved across the country the cele- And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, bration continues to grow and spread. I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and We should learn about this to understand African American history and this significant sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh. day, Juneteenth. All African Americans should be proud of a heritage of ancestors that continued to fight for freedom during the civil war while they were actually still slaves. By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN They never quit, they never got too tired and they have left a strong legacy of surviving WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State. and thriving regardless of the difficulties they faced. We must teach our children to always remember the sacrifices and accomplishments ”It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop of our ancestors. It will strengthen them in their pursuit of all the greatness God has in him from lynching me and I think that’s pretty important” store for them, give them the courage to get through anything and compel them to do ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.~ something now. ~BT and Diane Mathis~

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