Juneteenth, an American Celebration in Context

Juneteenth, an American Celebration in Context

What is all the fuss about? If we Americans knew more of our shared History, there would be no balking or even wondering about celebrating Junteenth, an occasion I learned about in my twenties from some of my friends and work colleagues while living in New York City. This celebration is embedded in the fabric of the culture of African Americans since immediately after the Civil War.

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in GalvestonTexas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday.

Here in 2021, we are eons away from a true sense of where we have come as a Nation of Immigrants. Americans by and large are here because we sought freedom, from the 1600s to today. That one value is the universal foundation within each of us.  When did we cease taking an interest and even delight in the other values and customs that each of us holds?

In a wide ranging post on Friday, our friend Maggie in The Universal Spectator puts the reaction of this new Federal holiday in today’s perspective:

Another “Federal Holiday” is Born…

Twitchy: ‘But go ahead and keep losing, y’all.’ Kira Davis makes EXCELLENT case for why opposing Juneteenth is a ridiculous hill for the Right to die on

Tyler O’Neil: Biden Uses Juneteenth to Push His Federal Takeover of Elections and the Suburbs

FLASHBACK: Dominic Green (6/19/20): Juneteenth is Trump’s chance to win in November: Will he do the right thing?

Tyler O’Neil: Yes, Conservatives Should Celebrate Juneteenth. Here’s Why.


Twitchy: Watch as another parent ‘storms’ a school board meeting and obliterates critical race theory … A ‘black’ parent, at that…

Kevin Downey, Jr: ‘I’ll Have Those [African Americans] Voting Democrat For 200 Years’


And then, there’s this from Allen West:

Happy Juneteenth folks, it’s the day when Blacks in Texas learned that they were free, June 19, 1865 in Galveston.
But what does today mean?
It’s the day when Blacks found out that the first Republican President had signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing them from the physical bondage of the Democrat Party. It was two years later, on July 4th 1867, that 150 of those same Black men met in Houston and established the Republican Party of Texas. The Democrats, in response, established the Ku Klux Klan.
Today, the Democrats are economically enslaving Blacks and have turned inner city communities into modern plantations of welfare and economic dependence.
Juneteenth is a celebration of why the Republican Party was established in 1854, the abolition of slavery. Only a flaming incompetent idiot would give the party of the jackass any credit for Juneteenth.

My fond memories of my fifteen years in Manhattan include many cultural celebrations throughout the year. Americans of Italian, Irish, Polish, Ukrainian, Puerto Rican, and many others would join together with their neighbors and celebrate an occasion with the vivid flair of their particular culture.

St. Patrick’s Day features the longest ever parade up Fifth Avenue that goes on all day long. And for the day, EVERYone is Irish. Pulaski Day in October is another with the music and traditional dress that the Poles brought with them. Puerto Rican Day is a big colorful bash of a parade. New York has always celebrated the cultures of its melting pot. For over a week, Little Italy celebrates the feast of San Gennaro brought to us by immigrants from Naples, Italy. The cannolis … ah, the cannolis!

In the larger eastern cities where large groups of immigrants settled in the last centuries, those traditions are continued. While coming here for Freedom and the Constitution, happily the traditions, cuisines and culture came with them. It is to be celebrated.

Juneteenth when considered in context is a joyous celebration remembering the righting of a terrible wrong that took good Patriots nearly a hundred years to effect with the Emancipation Proclamation, and for Texans, yet another few years before the good word reached them. It’s History, folks!

In this nation, July 4, 1776 is the day we celebrate as Independence Day.

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