Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Juneteenth Reader - From Galveston to Raleigh

Juneteenth commemorates the proclamation delivered on June 19, 1865 by Union Army General Gordon Granger in Galveston. The proclamation ordered the freedom of more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state of Texas. Enjoy this collection of articles that give context to the Juneteenth holiday. Happy Freedom Day.

General Order, No. 3


This clipping appeared in the Galveston Tri-Weekly News on June 20, 1865.

The new Juneteenth federal holiday traces its roots to Galveston, Texas - NPR

Read or listen to John Burnett's NPR report on the history of Juneteenth,  its origins, and evolution of the holiday. Interviews with locals describe what it was like to grow up with this history and how in impacted their own family members in intimate ways.

The Juneteenth Legacy Project

The Juneteenth Legacy Project's mission is "to recontextualize Juneteenth as a pivotal moment in the arc of U.S. history while properly telling the story of its genesis, and historical and contemporary relevance." Visit their website for the complete story of Juneteenth including the little known narrative of the presence of several regiments of U.S. Colored Troops present at Galveston Island at the time.


What did Juneteenth mean for the thousands freed from slavery in Raleigh? 

Read or watch the video of Heather Leah's WRAL report of early emancipation days in Raleigh. 

"It's hard to imagine a time when downtown Raleigh was instead full of sprawling fields, plantation houses - and hundreds of enslaved individuals....

When emancipation finally came to Raleigh, thousands of suddenly freed men and women flooded from those plantations and into the surrounding city. Most had no money, no homes, no formal education. There were no churches, schools or medical facilities to serve the once-enslaved population. How did a generation of freed families build a life for themselves from nothing?

"African-Americans, after slavery, decided to get together and build, brick-by-brick, a community and a sense of ownership that allowed them to thrive," says Grady Bussey, center director for the John Chavis Memorial Park."

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