2012 Juneteenth Observances, Celebrations And Events For Galveston, Houston & College Station—History Of Juneteenth
Juneteenth, marking when slaves in Galveston got word of the Emancipation Proclamation, will be formally observed on Tuesday June, 19.
(Above–A Juneteenth celebration in Austin, Texas in 1900.)
There are a number of events planned in the Houston-Galveston-College Station area in upcoming days to mark Juneteenth.
This post is a listing of many of these events. If you know of something I have left off, please leave a comment and I will add it to the post.
At the bottom of this post is some history of Juneteenth. It is essential that we know our shared history as Americans and as people on this Earth. It is essential that we realize that the work of freedom is never completed.
“…Juneteenth activities include a scholarship gala, African-American Heritage Exhibits at the Old Central Cultural Center, and Underground Railroad re-enactments hosted by the Galveston Historical Foundation… The event will culminate June 19th with the Emancipation Proclamation reading and prayer breakfast at Ashton Villa to commemorate the historic event that occurred in Galveston, two years after it was enacted in 1863. … A Jubilee picnic continue the special events at Wright Cuney Park, 41st St. and Ball. The 7th Annual Juneteenth Springfellow Orchards Family Day in Hitchcock takes place throughout the afternoon of June 18 with entertainment for the whole family….”
There are three pages on the Galveston.com page detailing Juneteenth events. Look for the “Inside This Section” listing about one-third down the page I link to above.
The Galveston County Daily News recently ran a story about efforts to increase the size of local Juneteenth observances and celebrations.
Hopefully history and reflection will be part of part of the Juneteenth observances and celebrations at the GRB.
The Miller Outdoor Theater in Hermann Park Will be staging a Juneteenth concert on Tuesday June 19 at 7 PM. Here are the details.
The University of Houston NAACP will be holding a Juneteenth BBQ on June 15th at 3820 Yellowstone begibnning at 5 PM. Here is the Facebook page for this event.
Here are details of one of these events from the Bryan-College Station Eagle—
”Tuesday, June 19: The Brazos Valley African American Heritage and Cultural Society will celebrate Juneteenth at the Neal Recreation Center, 600 North Randolf Avenue in Bryan, at 7 p.m. The theme will be “Mending and Blending.” The Rev. A.C. Clark of Pleasant Grove Church in College Station will be the featured speaker.”
Here is some history of Juneteenth—
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is the celebration to mark the end of slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger, landing at Galveston, Texas, made the announcement that the Civil War was over and that slaves were free.
(Above–Ashton Villa. It was from the balcony of this house that the Emancipation Proclamation was read in the event now known as Juneteenth. Photo by Nick Saum www.nicksaumphotography.com)
Juneteenth for 2012 will be Tuesday, June 19th.
It is important that we all be aware of Juneteenth. The freedom of all people is connected. If any group of Americans does not have all their rights, than we are all denied our rights.
From the Handbook—
“On June 19 (“Juneteenth”), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, thus belatedly bringing about the freeing of 250,000 slaves in Texas. The tidings of freedom reached slaves gradually as individual plantation owners read the proclamation to their bondsmen over the months following the end of the war. The news elicited an array of personal celebrations, some of which have been described in The Slave Narratives of Texas (1974). The first broader celebrations of Juneteenth were used as political rallies and to teach freed African-Americans about their voting rights. Within a short time, however, Juneteenth was marked by festivities throughout the state, some of which were organized by official Juneteenth committees.”
Though the Emancipation Proclamation took effect in 1863, it took time for word to get around that slavery was over. People went around for two years not knowing they were free.
After Juneteenth came the failure of Reconstruction and over 100 years of Jim Crow. Many people had their lives wasted in these years due to the racist beliefs of political leaders and of many everyday citizens.
( I’ve also written the best Martin Luther King Reading & Reference List on the web. Please click here to see this list.)
Below is a picture of a man who was a slave and who was whipped many times.
The man in the picture above had no choice about his fate in life.
Even today we remain not in full control of our fates. Circumstance and chance play a role in life.
Sometimes our freedom is restricted by our self-imposed limits of imagination. Other times our freedom is challenged by the actions of the wealthy and powerful.
In any case, we must always press ahead towards freedom and emancipation. There is always progress to be made and great victories to be won.
The freedom of all people is connected and the work of freedom is up to each of us.