- June 19, 1865 – 2008 Juneteenth Our Day To Celebrate
know sometimes I wonder why the hell February is Black History Month, I
know about all the explanations, but for me June should have been Black
History Month for everyone in Texas and the Deep South. For we became
men and women, humans in the eyesight of America. Of course America was
forced kicking and screaming to the alter but, We Were Rejoicing "Free
At Last Free At Last, Thank God All Mighty, We Are Free At Last". It
took us 2 years to get word that we were free. The rest of the slaves
had between freed on July 1st two years earlier. I can never recall a
celebration for July 1st or was all of it just rolled into the Fourth
of July Hoopla.
It surprised me a few years back that everyone
of African American Heritage did not celebrate this day, some did not
even know what all the hoopla was about. I grew up in East Texas and
Juneteenth was a big day not only for those that took a day off from
work to celebrate, when we were kids we worked in the fields on large
farms and were paid a semi descent wage for the labor done, we got paid
by the job even sometime on output. But even the White folks negotiated
with the workers to work on Juneteenth, because they realized it was
our Fourth of July. There was great preparation for the workers on
Juneteenth, normally you only worked half a day and the rest of the
workday was a big party, picnic style with all the BBQ, fish, ice cream
and soda mostly strawberry that you wanted, and best of all it was
provided by the folks that owned the nursery’s or farms. In an Article
from Black Voices Juneteenth is explained and some of the reason some
of us in America do not celebrate it.
Ancestors Are Reaching Out On Juneteenth
Juneteenth is always an emotional, contemplative day for me.
year, I believe I can feel the love of the ancestors reaching out to
me, supporting with their strength, urging me to keep going. They
remind me to celebrate my freedom; and yes, to eat a little BBQ and
drink some strawberry soda pop.On
June 19Th, 1865 – Juneteenth – two and a half years after the
Emancipation Proclamation was signed, Union soldiers arrived in
Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and those who
had been slaves were free. Juneteenth, Nestled between Flag Day and Independence Day, is another powerful anchor in the American experience.
June 19Th – later to be known as Juneteenth – in Galveston, Texas,
African Americans also gathered to celebrate. The festivities centered
around family, friends, and community and was a time for thanksgiving,
reflection, remembering, and prayer.
In counter-point to their
experiences as "Property of the Massa", the freed men and woman dressed
up and served up a bounty of food which included a main course
featuring – of course – barbecue and red soda water.
This year, there will be celebrations in cities and towns from Nacogdoches, Texas
to White Plains, New York to Roanoke, Virginia; in other words, all
across America. These commemorations range from traditional parades and
cookouts, to scuba diving demonstrations to more than a dozen Afrospear bloggers enlisting their talents to honor Juneteenth by creating dedicated posts on their individual blogs.
What do you do?
there was great celebrations all over the land, however that freedom
did not come with a paycheck for all the free labor we put in building
the most profitable Country in the land, so many of the Freedmen went
right back to work the next day, but they had ideas to renegotiate
Their salaries such that they could get paid. Of course the land owners
or the Massa cried poverty, and some were robbed, but mostly the freed
slaves worked and negotiated to get a share of the crops, the farm
animals, and some pay in cash. Most of the land owners felt that if
they had to pay it would bankrupt them. So unknowingly the freedman
became a Share Cropper, but since they lived on the Massa land and in
his shanties, they had to now pay rent. This issued in the new slavery
Share croppers and many African Americans remained share croppers well
into the 1970’s, right under the protector of freedom and human rights
noses. This was the new slavery issued in after reconstruction.
But back to
Juneteenth, an you remember when it was a big day in your families
life, now a few have picnics in the park, on of the churches in "Dallas
has a big drive on Juneteenth to bring in as many men as possible. The
park is packed with families and as you know over 76% of them are
single female parents, so it is a very festive occasion. I checked out
Kiest Park all the regulars were there all of the Latinos were playing socker and walking around doing the family thing, only saw on African
American family out walking, but I did not get out into the heat, you
see I am much more anti social now than I was when I was younger. Other than that not much was happening, but will
wait till the weekend, I think it might be more enjoyable to plan to
spend Juneteenth with my daughter and her family in Houston for now on.
There was a group of old timers near the Cliff Club off of
Ledbetter in Oak Cliff and they were really having a grand Old Timers Party, out front kicking it drinks, fish, BBQ, and watermelons. I check
it out my cuz was there with his wife partying so I sat in a bit and
shoved off to check out my man, Maine. Dropped by his pad, gave him a
melon and were sitting there having a drink and talking bout the
hotties, when his phone rang. One of his hotties was out front
requesting an OK to come to the door. He said damn a Nigga cannot even set around and kick it without being straight up bugged, then told her, yeah come on in,
then he said damn I gotta go to work in a hour. Well I had
another stop to make so I told them I would catch them next time, since I
had a previous engagement.
I dropped by my buddy’s
house took his wife a melon, since he does not eat them, and found out
that the morning storm had knocked off their electricity since 8:30 am,
was only 91 degrees that day with a small breeze so it was not
unbearable, but I sure would not have wanted to go thru it. I told him
to call Carl let him know that they needed a crew in the area, let him
know the problem, he threw it back to me, so I called him. Carl is my
Cuz and is over all the field crews in the Dallas Area. He was not
aware that the outage was still as far reaching, but said he would get
someone on top of it and see if they could get them electricity ASAP.
This was 6:45 and at 8:05 they had power. Pretty damn good work Oncor
did that day too, there was as many as 35,000 households that lost
power that day due to limbs being blown on the lines. Probably was
gonna be fixed anyway, but good to have my Cuz and Buddy here pulling
I will check out the city this weekend, from parks,
Water Parks, and Clubs to see what the mood is this year it has been
quite as hell. Something just does not feel right. I think it has to do
with me and the spirit of this time of year, so back to my roots and
try to reconnect. Will have to make a run to my hometown to have a look
around, and holla at my homies.