For more than two centuries, Americans From England at a local food and fireworks display. However, for African Americans, the July 4th holiday was more difficult to navigate. When the Declaration of Independence was passed at the Continental Congress in 1776, blacks in the United States were still enslaved, and the slavery system continued for nearly 100 years.
It wasn’t until June 19, 1865 — that’s it President Abraham Lincoln has signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Allied General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, informing enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and the end of the Civil War.
“July 4 represents the birthday of national freedom,” said historian and co-chair Samuel Collins III. , Told Yahoo News in a video interview. “June 19, 1865 represents the free birthday of the enslaved people.”
In dozens of cities across the country, the date is celebrated through gorgeous festivals, community-oriented barbecues, educational panels and black art exhibitions. It’s time for people to have fun, get together as friends and family, look back on the past, and look to the future.
“We love to eat. We love to sing,” Collins explained. “We love to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of our history and our ancestors.”
Recently, interest in vacations has increased, especially following national protests against police atrocities and the deaths of many African Americans, including Amado Arbury, George Floyd, and Breona Taylor. To fight the tragic death story, many black Americans choose to celebrate freedom.
“July 4th does not represent freedom for us,” said Emily Anadu, the organizer of the event series. In Brooklyn, NY .. “We celebrate when we have freedom. It’s about regaining and retaining space for the community.”
In 1979, Texas Since then, the celebration has steadily grown in scale to honor Juneteenth. The largest monument in the state can be found in Houston.This year the city is a historic host , Black owned And multiple virtual and face-to-face ..
The Black Georgians have hosted liberation celebrations for over two centuries, but the state did not officially approve Juneteenth until 2011. This week, Atlanta will host a three-day mega. Celebrate the holiday at the Centennial Olympic Park.
Celebration , SC, to , Col. , To And It also marks the day when black Texas slaves learned they were free. And while many of these communities have a long history of educational and cultural activities, workshops, etc. to commemorate the day, some are still in their infancy.
This year, Chatham, Massachusetts is a seaside town with more than 6,000 inhabitants, 90 miles east of Boston. For the worker, despite the fact that it is made up of whites According to recent census data, the proportion of population and blacks is less than 4 percent. There are no community-wide events scheduled to commemorate, but authorities felt it was important to acknowledge it.
Yahoo News told Yahoo News, HR Manager Megan Downey, “We conducted an investigation and recommended a selection committee to allow holidays. We wanted to support being as comprehensive and correct as possible. Because it was. “
Downey added that the whites in the community felt “absolutely” responsible for understanding the history of the day and recognizing its importance.
Some community members contacted by Yahoo News said they didn’t know much about holidays beyond the town’s perceptions.
“As far as I know, the only official act was to give town employees a holiday,” Chatham resident Barry Desiret told Yahoo News. “I’ve never heard of a particular event.”
Another place to officially recognize Juneteenth for the first time is Galveston, Texas, where the holidays began. The city is no wonder for the annual event to commemorate the day, but marking the date as a city-wide holiday is of 50,000 inhabitants whose racial composition is more than 75% white and about 17% black. It’s a new step for the community. ..
“Juneteenth is a very important day in the history of our city,” Councilor William Schuster said in a statement provided to Yahoo News. “It teaches the lesson of freedom and absolute equality. We are proud to be part of the city of Galveston, which recognizes Juneteenth as a holiday.”
In addition, a 5,000-square-foot mural commissioned by the city shows where the former Union headquarters once stood and where General Granger ordered slaves to be free in 1865.
According to Houston-based artist Reginald C. Adams, the mural was created by a team of six, a mixture of “sugar” and “bitter truth.”
“I’m glad everyone has finally caught up with the day,” said Collins, a historian born and raised in Galveston. “Because it’s been a little more commercialized … even with this mural … look behind the plaster and bricks of my heart-wrenching painting.”
“These bricks are bricks placed by the hands of enslaved people, and their personal fingerprints are symbolically included not only in the physical bricks, but also in the performance fingerprints of our society as a whole. Make sure you do, “he added. “They have laid the bricks for this economic prosperity that we enjoy in America today.”
Cover thumbnail photo: Photo illustration: Yahoo! News; Photos: Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images, Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images, Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
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