President Lincoln's Executive Order of Jan1,1863, politically ended legalized enslavement in the USA
For states not under Confederate control
However, the enslaved in Texas did not receive the news until June 19th, 1865 when Union soldiers, led by Major GeneralGordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origins, the observance of June 19th as the African-American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.
Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self improvement and for planning the future.
Only after being sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society. The celebrations that followed the reading of the proclamation by General Gordon Grangerbegan an important tradition.
On this day we reflect on the impact that over 400 years of brutal multi-generational trauma has had on our country. On this day, we pledge to continue to heal from the extensive damage done. We acknowledge and ponder that 153 years-a mere few generations-has past since this dehumanizing system has ended.
Today Juneteenth is hosted across America and beyond. A fact that acknowledges our shared history. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long over due.
In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today.
With this Marin City Festival we do our part. We celebrate Juneteenth to bring awareness and help strengthen African-American dignity and self respect using collective economics to build authentic relationships across cultures that foster respect and true equity.