June 19th 1865 was the day when the last slaves were freed. But did you know that Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd 1862, declaring “on the first day of January .. all persons held as slaves within any state, or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thence forward, and forever free.” It took nearly 2.5 years for this message to reach every slave. Many tried to keep it a secret .. because who wanted to loose their slaves?! A lot of black people didn’t even make it out of the plantations… they shot them while running .. while swimming … lynched them. Beaten them.
Just because they were free – white people still treated black people worse than animals.
When black people tried to celebrate the first anniversary of the announcement a year later, they were faced with a problem: Segregation laws were expanding rapidly and there were no public places or parks they were permitted to use. So, in the 1870s, former enslaved people pooled together $800 and purchased 10 acres of land, which they deemed “Emancipation Park.” It was the only public park and swimming pool in the Houston area that was open to African Americans until the 1950s.
Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth a state holiday. Juneteenth is still no federal holiday – which NEEDS to change ASAP.
Let this be a day of love, reminiscing, rejoicing and regrouping. We must come together to move forward!
Juneteenth history reposted from @sarahs.murphy (IG) by Keidra Ponder