JUNETEENTH BLACK INDEPENDENCE DAY
The Civil War began on April 12, 1861, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on September 22, 1862, which technically freed slaves. Two and a half years later, Union General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston Island, Texas with 2,000 troops to establish a federal presence in Texas and to issue General Order No. 3 officially freeing slaves.
I cry, and I am tormented by the way freedom and justice have been traditionally handed out to my people for the last 150 plus years. Continuing to this day, we experience lynchings, disproportionate imprisonments, discriminatory housing, discriminating banking practices, and racial profiling; progress has been made, but there are far too many barriers that are legally set up against my people.
I celebrate Black Independence Day reading the Emancipation Proclamation, singing negro spirituals, barbecuing, eating watermelon, drinking strawberry soda, and moonshine, baseball games, and prayer services.