Juneteenth celebrates the moment in the Civil War after the Union army under General Gordon Granger took Galveston, Texas, and then, on June 19, 1865, proclaimed freedom for all the slaves in the state. Of course, the national Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln almost three years earlier, but, due to the whole secession business, that didn’t make too much difference for most slaves. Thankfully, this statewide declaration took effect much faster.
Now I knew this was a big holiday in my home state of Texas, but I just found out that Juneteenth is actually a holiday in 42 states. It’s frequently celebrated with public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation and parades, as well as family reunions, barbecues, and other fun parties.
“But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!”