I had no idea what Juneteenth was when I was a kid. I only knew it as a black holiday. It was never mentioned in school. So a few years ago, I actually looked it up.
So just in case I’m not the only who didn’t know. Here is the story. The isht is f’d up.
Slaves were officially freed on January 1, 1863. But the news did not reach Texas until May 1865 (really 2 and half years later. Really? Really? That’s two years of slavery when everyone else was walking around free. WTF ). On June 18, 1865 The union army arrived in Galveston, Texas and on June 19, 1865 A union soldier read this aloud:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.
Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or neither of these version could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln’s authority over the rebellious states was in question For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.
FYI, Oklahoma did not become a state until 1907.