The Elephant uses its proven skill of recall; to know where to go and where not to go, to recognize faces and experiences that may or may not be friendly. To remember is to recall the past in order to properly navigate the present. To forgive is to heal, to remember is to be wise.
Although the official signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was on January 1, 1863. We nonetheless, celebrate the Emancipation on June 19th, to respectfully pay homage to those "tough Texans" who created their own annual celebration that caught on; spreading throughout the country. Although June 19th is the official day of remembrance, celebrations are often held throughout the month of June.
It was on June 19th 1865, two and a half years after Lincolns Proclamation, that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended and that all owners of human beings had to stop their flesh trade-by law. Prior to this date, Texan enslavers and plantation owners did not honor the decree of 1863, in part due to the minimal number of Union troops stationed in Texas, to enforce it.
However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment in Texas, the Union forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the Confederate Dixiecrats, who were now forced to obey-the law.
157 years have past since the Proclamation that outlawed a brutal, multi-generational, institutional and systemic form of bondage. The legacy of that time lives on in 2020, a time when many are witnessing a nation divided.
With this very first online festival, we bring you music, dance, spoken word, and a line up of entertainers that will rock your world. You will, from home, be transported to the Harlem Renaissance, the beginnings of Hip-Hop, be a part of the Black Arts Movement, or be mesmerised by the words of leaders that are as relevant now as they were when their words were first uttered.
In our live interactive Pod Casts we will host conversations with thinkers of all ages discussing what it means to be, and how to be, free; physically and emotionally; as individuals and as a society.
We look forward to "Pod Zooming" with you at the festival. Until then, be well and stay blessed.
Oshalla Diana Marcus
Director, MC Arts & Culture