Every year for 145 years we have continued to celebrate that fateful Juneteenth day in Galveston, Texas when the 2 year old news arrived that the emancipation proclamation had been signed freeing all slaves. Black slavery was abolished on this Juneteenth day, the 19th day of 1865 in Texas and an emancipation proclamation summary was delivered throughout Texas either officially or unofficially. But have we remembered to celebrate everything?
This Juneteenth celebration a final blow to American slavery has moved beyond the borders of Galveston, beyond the borders of the great State of Texas, beyond the borders of the U.S. to encircle several countries and faiths and peoples. We need to ask ourselves – have we remembered to celebrate everything?
Juneteenth in Galveston Texas is sometimes celebrated for a day or a week and even a whole month. Being freed from slavery can have that kind of memorable effect to where you want generation after generation to almost feel the embrace of emancipation. To remember Juneteenth not only as a time to barbecue and drink – but as a historic marker of freedom for a downtrodden people. Juneteenth celebrations and Texas emancipation should be synonymous in our minds – to be taught to our homeschooled children as history so that it will never be repeated. Remember to celebrate everything. Remember to teach those homeschoolers and youth anywhere near you the importance of this epic day. Remember to share stories about freedom a month before and a month after to emphasize the importance of having the right to be free.
Texas emancipation law is that – an actual law on a physical piece of paper, that needs to be read and remembered. Emancipation in Texas was not taken lightly 145 years ago, we must also remember and try to imagine what it was like to hear the emancipation proclamation summary. Imagine what it was like standing there with half your strength already gone from working all morning (read 4 a.m. until), what it was like to have whip marks on or backs that itched or ached even if they had already healed from years ago.
Imagine standing there barefoot and barely clothed in rags to hear – you are FREE. In your Juneteenth celebrations, remember to celebrate everything – you are FREE.
African American slavery is a crime punishable by law. Juneteenth day from now on has to emphasize, remember to celebrate everything – you are FREE.
The plight of African American people has a solution – FREEDOM. Remember to celebrate everything.
Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.
Martin Luther King, Jr.