Friday, 06/19/09, Public Square

juneteenth-throwJuneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”

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6 responses to “Friday, 06/19/09, Public Square

  1. Every other year our town has a ‘Black Homecoming’. Of course whites wanna know when we will have a ‘white homecoming’.

  2. QnofHrts

    I’m not saying Juneteenth celebrations are wrong. Slavery was wrong. Racism is wrong. However as long as there are exclusive holidays for only one particular race and special treatment for one particular race then I think that breeds a form of racism. I’m not saying outlaw special celebrations but why can’t cities have “Homecoming week” instead of Black/White/Latino/Asian Homecoming? The more inclusive of everybody the more people will interact and hopefully get rid of racism.

  3. I hear what you’re saying QnofHrts, and don’t disagree.

    All Juneteenth celebrates is the date anyone in the U.S. first heard “news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.”

    So, it’s not celebrating any race, it’s celebrating an event.

  4. The hometown thing is just a ‘black’ thing. I’m cool with that. There’s so many mixed couples anymore, how do they decide?
    Anyway, there’s plenty of things that are almost exclusively white that we celebrate.
    I have yet to see a black bagpipe player at the St. Patricks parade.
    Hell, I’m sure there is though.

  5. BTW, the song is from 1978.
    Things were much different then, just 30 years ago.
    Inter-racial anything was still touchy.

  6. Iranians to Obama: Hush

    Lipstick Jihad author Azadeh Moaveni says protesters in Tehran have a surprising view on Obama’s silence: Keep it up.

    But in conversations with friends and relatives in Tehran this week, I’ve heard the opposite of what I had expected: a resounding belief that this time the United States should keep out. One of my cousins, a woman in her mid-30s who has been attending the daily protests along with the rest of her family, viewed the situation pragmatically. “The U.S. shouldn’t interfere, because a loud condemnation isn’t going to affect Iranian domestic politics one way or the other. If the supreme leader decides to crackdown on the protests and Ahmadinejad stays in power, then negotiations with the United States might improve our lives.”

    “Now that after 30 years it seems that we have a chance to negotiate with America, it would be a shame if we lost the chance.”

    Other friends I spoke with cited various reasons why the United States should maintain its discrete posture. “If Obama’s position until now has been to respect Iran, then he really has no choice but to watch first how things unfold. Mousavi hasn’t produced any facts yet, no one has produced evidence of fraud,” said my friend Ali, a 40-year-old photographer. “That’s what is needed before Obama takes a major stand.”