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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Today is Juneteenth. You may know it as a recently declared federal holiday, but I have found that most Americans (outside of those who live in Texas) don’t know much about it, which is why I am talking about it today. Here’s a summary of the history

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in 1863. But his action could not be enforced in many places in the South until the Civil War ended in 1865. That news didn’t travel fast because of the limitations of communications and an unwillingness of Southern leaders to proclaim it.

That news finally reached Galveston, Texas when Union Major General Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in the city on June 19, 1865. Six months later, the 13th Amendment was ratified by Georgia, thus permanently abolishing slavery in America.

The next year on June 19, there was a celebration of freedom in Galveston. This included concerts, parades, and a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. Other celebrations, often in churches, spread around the state as Black Texans moved elsewhere. It has been a paid holiday for state employees in Texas and many other states since the 1980s. President Biden signed the bill from Congress making Juneteenth a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

Here are some key questions. How much do most Americans know about Juneteenth? For that matter, how much did you know about this federal holiday? Aren’t we missing an opportunity to educate Americans?

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t know much about many of the holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July. Juneteenth could be a teaching opportunity about human rights for churches and Christian organizations. Let’s not miss this opportunity.viewpoints new web version

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