Monday August 1, 2022

Juneteenth commemorates the day that Union Soldiers told enslaved Black people in Texas, that they had been set free from the shackles of slavery. A year ago, I remember being in the East Room at the White House, to watch President Joe Biden make history when he signed the Juneteenth Independence Day Act into law, making it a national holiday. Vice President Kamala Harris, several of the President’s Cabinet members, along with the Congressional Black Caucus and other congressional representatives applauded the President’s signing of the bill. The historic moment commemorating how the first declaration of Juneteenth was made 157-years ago when Union Soldiers marched into Galveston, Texas to announce that slavery had ended. The dramatic events leading to the creation of Juneteenth began on January 1, 1863, during the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States signed Proclamation 95, better known as the Emancipation Proclamation. It was an executive order to end slavery, changing the legal status of more than 3.5 million African Americans living in servitude to white slaveowners throughout the ten Confederate Southern states that were engaged in armed rebellion against the United States. In the proclamation, Lincoln stated; “I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, are, and henceforward shall be free.” Some historians view President Lincoln’s bold move as the most important moment of his Presidency. It turned the Civil War into more than just a bloody and costly conflict between the Union and the Confederacy, but made the war about abolishing the institution of slavery. White Southerners and their sympathizers in the North were angry and feared Lincoln’s proclamation would lead to war between the races. Abolitionists believed the Presidential order did not go far enough to...... Read more on Full Issue!

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