Today marks the holiday known variously as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, or simply Juneteenth. It commemorates the day in 1865 that slaves in Texas were finally set free, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.That's right, African Americans didn't find out the Civil War was over, the north won, and they were free, until two years after the war was over. This is why I report with great glee, that on this day the Dallas County, Texas Commissioners Unanimously, Mistakenly Approve Reparations For Black Communities.
Here's an explanation of the holiday's roots from a 1977 issue of Southern Exposure magazine:
The Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, did not have any effect in Texas because too little of the state was occupied by Northern troops. When Lee surrendered in April, 1865, most Texas plantations were still intact, and a quarter-million black people were working as slaves.The event became a Texas state holiday in 1980, and today it's recognized as either a state holiday or special day of observance in 43 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
It was not until June 19, 1865 -- when General George Granger arrived with Yankee troops in Galveston and issued his own emancipation decree -- that slaves were actually freed in Texas. June 19 -- "Juneteenth" -- therefore became the day of celebration.
This is what happen when blacks elected officials are marginalized, minimized, and ignored.