Cheryl Holloway Celebrates Juneteenth

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I recently attended a Juneteenth Celebration in Maryland.

Here is some History of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of African American  slaves throughout the Confederate South. Celebrated on June 19, the word is a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth.” Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years.  Any of these stories could be true.

  • Often told is the story of a messenger, who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom.
  • Another story is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers/masters to maintain the labor force on the plantations.
  • Another story is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.

Today, the holiday is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation the singing of traditional songs, such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black American National Anthem, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,”  an American Negro Spiritual and readings by noted African-American writers, such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou.  Celebrations may include parades, rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties,  historical reenactments, or Miss Juneteenth contests.

Note: Special Thanks to Wikipedia.org and Juneteenth.com for the history.

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