JUNETEENTH CELEBRATIONS KICK OFF IN US CITIES WITH A BANG

by Kim Boateng Last updated on July 25th, 2017,

Juneteenth, officially June 19 got off to an early start this weekend with parades, festivals, picnics, music, baseball, reenactments, concerts and more in cities across America.  Juneteenth, America’s Freedom day June 19th, 1865 is frequently confused with Emancipation day, Officially January 1st, 1863.

The two and a half years difference arose from the fact that after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863 the Southern States rejected the abolition of slavery and refused to implement it subsequently seceding under the banner of The Confederate States Of America. This led to the American Civil War between The United States Of America (THE UNION) and The Confederate States Of America (THE CONFEDERACY). The war ended with the surrender of the confederacy effectively ending the secession and forcing the rebellious southern states to accept the Emancipation Proclamation.

It was on June 19th, 1865 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at historic beach town GALVESTON, Texas with news the Confederacy led by General Lee had surrendered, that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. JUNETEENTH IS SHORT FOR JUNE THE 19TH.

The celebrations that erupted in Galveston Texas on June 19th, 1865 marked the birth of JUNETEENTH. Juneteenth the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States has been celebrated in cities across the US every year for 152 years since. It is a public holiday or observance in 43 states.

This weekend, Galveston Texas the birthplace of juneteenth hosted a Juneteenth parade – beginning at 17th and Strand streets, and ending at Menard Park (2222 28th Street). The parade featured festive floats, entertainers and bands and ended with a fireworks show.

Returning for its second year, the island will host the Galveston Crawfish Festival June 16-18 at Kempner Park as part of its Juneteenth festivities. The event will include crawfish and food vendors, a Kids’ Zone and live music from Zydeco and blues artists.

Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church will commemorate the first known Juneteenth celebration in U.S. history with its annual march from the steps of the Old Galveston County Courthouse to the church at 2015 Broadway Ave. The public is welcome to participate.

The Galveston Juneteenth Coalition will also host the 38th annual Al Edwards Emancipation Proclamation Reading and Prayer Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on June 19 at the historic Ashton Villa – the location of the island’s official Juneteenth monument. And, Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church will commemorate the first known Juneteenth celebration in U.S. history at 6 p.m. June 19 with its annual march from the steps of the Old Galveston County Courthouse to the church at 2015 Broadway Ave. The public is welcome to participate.

A wide variety of events will take place throughout the month for Galveston’s 2017 Juneteenth celebration. Galveston is part of the Houston Metro Area.

Besides, Galveston, the city of houston and cities across the USA have kicked off their 2017 JUNETEENTH celebrations this weekend. Like Galvestion, most of the  celebrations will go on for the rest of the month.

The observance of Juneteenth is about the journey and achievement of African Americans, from a horrific period of sanctioned enslavement to the pinnacle of human endeavors. It is a story of pride, resilience and determination that will always be of historical and spiritual importance – as it serves us well to understand that together, we can overcome all obstacles in our path.  JUNETEENTH  is a celebration  of the human spirit that no man can enslave.

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Kim Boateng

Kim Boateng

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