Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Happy Juneteenth!

As of last Saturday, Massachusetts, now joins 23 other states (including New Jersey) that officially recognize this holiday. (And most appropriately for the Bay State, since as in so many other things, it led in legalizing slavery, back in 1641.)

If you're not too up on Juneteenth, here's a bit of info from Juneteenth.com:

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

Today 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. 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. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.

And there's more here. And here.

New York State is mulling an official apology for slavery (sans reparations, of course); only in the last decade has slavery's central role in New York City's and the state's development come to the fore.

The New-York Historical Society still is featuring two exhibits on the topic, its permanent New York Slavery exhibit, and New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War, which runs until September 3, 2007.

The process of emancipation, however, from slavery and its effects, continues.


  1. John,

    Happy Juneteenth to you as well! And Happy Birthday!!! Thanks for the writing on Afro-Latinos. I have an interest in Afro-Mexicana/o history as well. I didn't realize that folks were settling in NC, how interesting. By the way, I finally sent the cicada info to you. I hope you got it.

  2. Thanks so much, Audiologo! I sent an email via the other channel--an amazing list you compiled. I'm working on something that I hope to post by the end of next month, so I'll keep you posted.

  3. Juneteenth is America's 2nd Independence Day celebration. 26 states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or state holiday observance, as well as the Congress of the United States.

    Together we will see Juneteenth become a national holiday in Amemrica!

    Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
    National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
    National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
    National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)