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By The Yocum African American History Association
The portmanteau word Juneteenth is from the words June and nineteenth and is often called Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, or Emancipation Day. It signified when the last slaves in Galveston, Texas, were told that they were free on June 19, 1865.
Why did it take so long after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to General Ulysses Grant at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, for Texas to surrender in Galveston on June 2, 1865, to the Union Army and free their slaves? The answer, partly, is in their unique history of Texas’s revolt against Mexico, life as an independent republic, and finally, its voluntary surrender to statehood. That said, Texans continued to fight to preserve their autonomy even after Lee’s surrender.
On the road to Freedom Day, many black families left the South following the Emancipation Proclamation. They preferred being together under the Union Army’s protection rather than staying on the farms and plantations as slaves. Three slaves escaped from Sewells Point from the Confederate Army using a small boat and found haven at the Union stronghold at Fort Monroe in Virginia, known as the “Freedom’s Fortress.”
At Fort Monroe, General Benjamin Butler refused to comply with the Fugitive Slave Law and protected these three escaped slaves by classifying them as contrabands of war. This classification meant that the Union Army could seize any slaves being used to support the Confederate rebellion. The passage of the Civil War Confiscation Acts of 1861 and 1862 made it legal to seize slaves, and the 1862 act authorized the federal government to free slaves in conquered rebel territory. As the Union Army continued its successes, more and more self-liberated contrabands moved from slavery to freedom toward Union camps.
Even the defeat of the Union Army at the Second Battle of Bull Run did not stop blacks from following the Union Army. Photographer Timothy O’Sullivan took a series of photographs in August 1862, where slaves were emancipating themselves with loaded wagons by fording the Rappahannock River in Virginia. That day, Union General John Pope’s Army of Virginia was in full retreat, falling back from the Rapidan River to a new line behind the Rappahannock River. Slaves saw the Yankee’s departure as their last chance for freedom and flooded North with the Union Army. This image captures the hugely significant act in progress, slaves emancipating themselves on the road to Freedom Day.
Blacks desired to be active in their emancipation and ran away from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and other Southern state’s farms and plantations. Slaves were no longer willing to be exploited or subjugated. Former slaves worked in Union camps as cooks, laborers, or servants to white officers. Later they would guard Union weapons, and in the last two years of the war, served as soldiers. These were the steps taken to destroy slavery from within and create freedom for themselves.
The Civil War’s last battle on Texas soil on May 13, 1865, was a Confederate win at Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas. But it became clear that the Confederate army in Texas was collapsing, and soldiers were deserting in large numbers. Finally, on June 2, 1865, Confederate General Kirby Smith surrendered in Galveston to the Army of the United States of America.
General Gordon Granger of the Army of the United States of America arrived on June 19, 1865, in Galveston to command all the troops, restore some semblance of order, and announce that all enslaved people were free. Galveston was a strategic city because it was the largest city in Texas and an important port city where cotton was shipped to the world. Thus, it was the perfect location to announce General Order No. 3.
The first celebration of Juneteenth was celebrated in Galveston, Texas in 1866, and is now celebrated throughout the United States.
To find out more, go to our blog or our lesson plans on our website.
Juneteenth is ‘perfect answer’ to critical race theory: Heritage Foundation president
By Teny Sahakian | Fox News
Many on the left are attempting to use Juneteenth to push an anti-American agenda and racial division, but the holiday has always been a day for recognizing America as an exceptional nation, says the leader of the Heritage Foundation, a prestigious conservative think tank.
“Juneteenth is a perfect answer to those who are promoting critical race theory,” Kay C. James, president of the Heritage Foundation, said in an interview with Fox News. “Juneteenth says, no, we do not need to destroy the very structures of this nation, the things that make us great. That while there were issues or problems in our history, look at how we overcame and are overcoming them.”
June 19, 1865, also called Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, was the day Union soldiers enforced President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas. It was two months after the South’s official surrender in the Civil War and two and a half years after the proclamation went into effect.
On Wednesday, Congress passed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday in a 415-14 vote in the House one day after the bill passed in the Senate.
The day represents a critical turning point in American history, said James. It was the day that America finally began to live up to one of its greatest principles: a nation devoted to liberty for all.
“For me and I hope for most Americans, it’s a holiday that we can all celebrate because it says that we as a nation recognize that the institution of slavery was in absolute conflict with our very core principles and values from our founding, and that Americans fought an entire war to get rid of the institution of slavery,” said James.
While some use Juneteenth to push their “Hate America” agenda, the conservative leader pointed out, Juneteenth is a day for recognizing the greatness of America: That, though flawed, America was built on humanity’s highest ideals and endowed with a constitutional framework that allowed it to right its wrongs throughout history.
“I do believe that there is a contradiction going on in the heart of many Americans right now,” James said in regards to those who celebrate Juneteenth while also promoting ideas like critical race theory and the 1619 Project, which claim that America remains systemically racist.
James, a Black woman who has served as president of America’s leading conservative organization for three years, believes conservatives need to “step into this moment.”
“This is not a moment that I shy away from in our American history and in our American culture,” said James. “As conservatives, we believe in human flourishing. We believe in lifting people out of poverty, finding solutions to the education gap in this country. We know how to provide better access to health care.”
“It’s a privilege for me to speak out on a day like Juneteenth to say, ‘Would you give our ideas a look?’
“One of the biggest battles” facing conservatives in the debate over race in America “is separating out those individuals who say, ‘If you’re against critical race theory, you therefore by default are a racist,’” said James. “We have to diffuse that.
“For anyone interested in having a genuine, sincere conversation about where we are as a nation – if you genuinely care about solving racial problems in America – ask a conservative to really explain to you why critical race theory is not appropriate.”
Flashback: Joe Biden Had No Clue What Juneteenth Was One Year Ago, Confused it With Tulsa Massacre (VIDEO)
By Cristina Laila | Gateway Pundit
Juneteenth – Emancipation Day – June 19 1865
Black Wall Street – Tulsa Riot and Massacre – June 1, 1921
On Thursday Joe Biden, a lifelong racist, signed a law making Juneteenth a federal holiday.
No one knew what Juneteenth was until recently.
Barack Obama never tweeted about Juneteenth and he never gave a speech about the event.
Just one year ago Joe Biden had no clue what Juneteenth was and he actually confused it with the Tulsa Massacre.
One year later Joe Biden is using Juneteenth to bash the US as a racist country.
Biden said slavery continues to take a toll on the country.
Watch Joe Biden mock Trump last year for visiting Texas on Juneteenth:
Joe Biden doesn’t know what Juneteenth is [on Jun 11, 2020, referring to President Trump Biden said]:
“He’s going down to Texas on Juneteenth, right? The first major massacre … of the Black Wall Street, right?”
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO.
1. President Trump is going to Texas today, not June 19
2. Juneteenth is about emancipation
3. The massacre was in Oklahoma
Cristina Laila began writing for The Gateway Pundit in 2016 and she is currently the Associate Editor.
Why Juneteenth & Not 400th Anniversary of Black History?
By Rev. Wayne Perryman
“Black History 1619-2019: An Illustrated and Documented African-American History” is an inspiring and educational journey through history. It is an in-depth look at the events which shaped the lives and contributions of the African-American community in the United States of America. Now in its third printing, the book is available at Amazon and through bookstores nationwide.”
I ask: Why is there so much attention given to Juneteenth but complete silence for the 400th Anniversary of African American History in 2019? The answer is simple, blacks are not and never have been important enough to acknowledge their sufferings and celebrate their contributions to America and the world at large.
The records will show that well over 95% of slaves knew slavery had ended after the Civil War. Juneteenth represent just a handful of the remaining slave population. But the 400th Anniversary of African American History not only represent 100% of all slaves (the millions who died before the war and the ones that remained), it also represented the millions of black citizens after slavery, along with their contributions in medicine; science; engineering; agriculture; computer technology; manufacturing; and Space Technology–all of which made America one of the most powerful countries on earth.
The choice to not celebrate the 400th Anniversary of African Americans by Congress, State Legislators, mayors, governors, the media, corporations, schools, colleges, the NBA, NFL, and MLB was intentional!
Let’s be honest, over the years, more attention has been given to Breast Cancer Awareness Month and PRIDE Month than the 400 years of a race of people who have done more for America than any other ethnic group – despite their sufferings and obstacles.
Author: Frances Rice