Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom

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Many people think slavery ended on the day. Abraham lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation in january eighteen. Sixty three but it actually took more than two and a half years for it to become official throughout all of the confederate states. Our correspondent pamela. Kirkland calls up. He's a museum specialists in oral history at the national museum of african american history and culture in washington. Dc to explain a bit more about the history of the holiday. We'll just start with what is juneteenth. June taint juneteenth this great day that is celebrated because on june nineteen eighteen. Sixty five general. Gordon granger arrived in galveston texas with order numbers sri announcing that the enslaved were now free this is important because although the emancipation proclamation had been signed in eighteen sixty three it had a little to no impact almost of the enslaved throughout the south. Because if there weren't union soldiers there to enforce it it literally. Nothing in did not change of your life if you were enslaved human being in texas. Which was the westernmost state. There was very little union presence throughout the war so it was as if nothing had happened in fact there were slave owners. He moved west to continue. The practice of slavery moved to texas for that purpose so this day this was a big day. He arrived with almost two thousand troops. Some of whom were united states colored troops and they enforced this order. What what kind of the history. Of june teeth in the legacy. It's only recently really bad. It's become more widely known. Yes i well. It started in texas so immediately a year. After this announcement they have the first juneteenth In texas in houston. The african americans their a saved up. Money and bought land is specifically for this purpose that became emancipation park and it was practiced throughout texas In also places like oklahoma is started to slowly spread with the great migration in which you see different ways so it was celebrated through the turn of the century than it waned a little. Then you see it's coming back after the after world war two then. There was another big boost after the civil rights era after the sixties. What are some of the exhibits that highlight juneteenth And demands pation. We have an entire gallery devoted to slavery and freedom so there you will find of of many artifacts relating to we have the actual copy of Mation for example we have of many artifacts related to the underground railroad movement. Things that belong to harriet tubman such as show in our

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