(ThyBlackMan.com) Legend has it that in the Spring of 1863 a few months after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the Slaves in the rebellion (seceded) states a group of Black Union Soldiers were on a scouting mission in the southern area of Texas based out of Louisiana and came across a plantation that had Slaves working. One of the Soldiers belted out from a distance to the nearby slaves that: “Hey, y’alls are free now! Gone outta here!” The few slaves that heard him said he was lying and a fool for trying to get them to run away and continued to work. He was bewildered at the response and rode off to catch up with his colleagues and didn’t mention the encounter to the other Soldiers. A similar recount of this situation was captured in the movie “Emancipation” with Will Smith. Whether this aspect of what happened is true or not, I am inclined to believe there is some validity to this story. Afterall, how is it that one area of Texas didn’t get the “memo” that the rest of the nation got? That had to be the best kept secret since the revelation and admittance of UFOs by the United States recently.
I will further posit that when a Black person tells a group of Black people something that is for their own benefit and goes against the grain of their own groupthink ideologies, they are met with skepticism and most often ridicule; so once again, I don’t doubt the validity here. Well, fast forwarding two years later, it took a White General by the name of MG Gordon Granger and his Troops to issue General Order No. 3 that declared – reinforced – that the slaves were in fact free. Celebrations of freedom rang out in the streets of Galveston, Texas.
Some slaves didn’t know what to make of their newfound freedom, some stayed on the plantation and worked for wages – this system became known as sharecropping in the south later. All the while in 1863 and much of 1865 the Civil War was still raging on. Slaves were continuously being liberated from plantations and prisons. States that were still part of the Union and did not secede were allowed to keep their slaves, Kentucky, Delaware, Maryland, and Missouri. Ratification of the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865 freed all slaves in the United States.
Those who argue for the case of making Juneteenth a federal holiday make the justification that it should be a holiday because it marks the freedom of the last of slaves still in bondage. Well, this isn’t the case and to a more specific point, although the 13th amendment abolished slavery in 1865, the Choctaw nation didn’t free their slaves until the Reconstruction Treaty of 1866. While many Cherokee slave owners ignored the law to free their slaves during this period the governing body of the Cherokee nation made a treaty on July 27, 1866, that all freed slaves and their descendants would have the full rights of that of the native Cherokees. This is what we call cherry-picking history to fit or build a narrative of sorts. Juneteenth was chosen not so much for historical accuracy of ALL slaves being freed, but for some in an area that didn’t get the memo for one reason or another.
Now, you may ask should we not celebrate Juneteenth? Yes, we can. Yes, you can. Yes, it should be a celebration. Perhaps more suitable for a state holiday instead of federal. I would propose making December 6 the actual federal holiday signifying the freedom of Blacks in America due to the abolition of slavery. If we are going to make an argument of inclusivity of freedom from slavery, then it should be the date the government abolished it. Black America was pacified with this holiday as a reward for delivering the votes for President Biden.
Finish story here; Black Community: Juneteenth: A Peculiar Holiday.