The Emancipation Proclamation did not free the slaves – hate to tell you how history of the United States of America has been distorted...yet again.
By law, two years later was when slaves were freed from the last remaining state, Texas. The day that commemorates the last slaves being freed is called Juneteenth – originally called June the 19th. Juneteenth is the day that Black and African Americans acknowledge as ‘our’ Independence Day (albeit we were not independent due to murdering, lynching, segregation, Jim Crow, etc., that’s been ignored since three weeks ago).
Juneteenth is one of the major celebrations by African Americans, but is probably the most popular. In recent years, many have campaigned to make it a national, paid holiday. Juneteenth started in 1866 with the newly-freed slaves celebrating by dressing in their finest made clothing, apart from the rags they wore on a daily basis. Imagine the pride of spinning and sewing clothing – dresses, suits and other linens to celebrate freedom.
Former Texas slaves even traveled the country to celebrate their freedom. Celebrations would include eating food rich in red coloring to acknowledge the blood lost in slavery, and today, Juneteenth is celebrated in many communities with parades and community parties.
In Savannah, you can celebrate the resiliency of Black Americans by attending Blessings in a Bookbag’s annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday at 520 Tavern, located at 8820 Abercorn St. This is a free event that will have live music, vendors, food, giveaways and more.