Juneteenth – From Chains to Emancipation
Congress passed the Abolition of Slavery on January 31, 1865, and later ratified it on December, 6 later that same year. Throughout this year, each state then made arrangements to recognize, enforce and adapt this as law. Sunday, June 19th marks 153 years since Major General Gordon Granger announced the abolition of slavery in Galveston, Texas. A sobering time for all Americans but a time to reflect, acknowledge and celebrate the changes of a nation. This date later became known as “Juneteenth”, a celebration that’s been held now for more than 130 years. Honoring the memory of all African-Americans who either endured the chains of slavery or moved to freedom.
Ways To Celebrate Juneteenth
Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980. But since then, the rest of the states have followed in due course. Events are being held across the nation, commemorating the day that slavery was officially declared ‘dead.’ So here’s a list of a number of events that you can attend, reflecting and learning about this incredible journey to emancipation.
San Francisco’s ‘Juneteenth’ Events
San Francisco has many events across the city. Including a parade honoring of one of its citizens, Rachel Townsend. She courageously devoted her efforts to both educating and entertaining the community about African-American culture. Her commitment spanned many years fundraising and calling attention to the importance of seeing the African-American population represented in policy-making decisions. After her untimely passing early this year, the city has renamed the Juneteenth Parade along Fillmore Street, in her honor. Taking place on Saturday, June 18th it will be a fabulous tribute to freedom and Rachel, who championed this cause. There are also many other entertaining activities planned. These include an African Uhuru village as well as Health and Wellbeing pavilions organized for the day.
San Antonio Celebrates Freedom
On Friday, June 1st and Saturday, June 2nd, San Antonio will be holding their freedom celebrations. On both days you can check out multiple events from 11:00 am till midnight. There is a full day of things to explore including music, a dominoes tournament as well as an uplifting and educational play about black history, called ‘The Project.’ The Flotilla Boating and Fishing Club will also be putting on a Fish Fry so you can grab something to eat on your way to exploring the Health Pavilion or taking in some music from unique guest artists such as Beverly Houston & Breezin’ as well as Midnight Star. The events will take place at 2600 Comanche Park #2, Rigsby Ave, San Antonio and are free to attend.
Chicago Hosts The Parade For Peace
The West Side Historical Preservation Society of Chicago is hosting a three-day long festival to commemorate “Juneteenth.” From Friday, June 22nd to Sunday, June 24th, you can head to Garfield Park to celebrate with the whole west side and Chicago! This free event has a variety of entertainment, food for the entire family. Come along to 3732 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL and join in the fun and activities associated with this free event.
For the African-Americans the road to freedom was paved with both thorns and bravery. Juneteenth is a day for all Americans to be educated and entertained with great events happening around the country. If you can’t get to one of the ones mentioned above, have your celebratory barbeque and invite your guests to bring along some music, memorabilia, or trivia in honor of Black History Month. So however you decide to celebrate, do it remembering the significance of this day. It should be honored as we gain more understanding of this indelible footprint in our nation’s history.