Juneteenth Party

in blurtmusic •  last month 


Happy Juneteenth.

It's Jubilee or what I learned from school as "Emancipation Day". Americans celebrate Independence Day July 4th, 1776 in the US, but not all of American was free.

Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1862 officially outlawed slavery in the areas that had rebelled against the Union. On December 6th, 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified to the constitution . This amendment abolished slavery in the United Sates.

Juneteenth comes from June 19th, 1865 when the Union Army general Gordon Granger proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas. From 1886 the celebration continued in Southern churches and block parties and family reunions.

Many years ago I was invited to celebrate Juneteenth was the extended family of a good friend of mine on the West Side of Chicago. The family rented a camping spot in the forest preserve and prepared southern foods that were new to me at the time.

It was 1994 but we listened to funky music from the 70s and laughed a lot at some of his cousin's stories. I felt really special that day, like I shared some kind of inside joke. They told me it was Juneteenth. I didn't know that such a day existed before then. We were people living in one city coming from two different cultures but we could share together that day.

Now this year 2021 President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. I'm surprised that something like this had been not done earlier.

I don't remember exactly what we were jamming to at the Juneteenth party 35 years ago but I'm jamming to these songs today.

Lift Every Voice and Sing


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