Today, June 19, is Juneteenth, the most recent of our 11 Federal Holidays, having been signed into law on June 17, 2021.
It commemorates June 14, 1865 when the Juneteenth Order (General Order #3), co-written by General Gordon Granger and his subordinate Major Frederick Emery, was posted throughout Galveston, TX.
Pennsylvania deems the day an “official annual observance”, first recognized as an observance in 2019.
Texas was the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a permanent state holiday, it does not recognize the day as an observance.?!
Opal Lee is called “the grandmother of Juneteenth”. She began a walking campaign at the the age of 89 (2016) which eventually led to the creation of the Juneteenth holiday. She has written a Juneteenth children’s book. She is raising funds for a National Juneteenth Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the same city where, as a child, she watched her house being burnt down by a white mob. She is quite an extraordinary woman.
Not all Afro-Americans see Juneteenth in the same way; Professor Robert A.. Brown of Morehouse notes “Lawmakers have been more willing to engage in performative symbolism than passing laws to make substantive change”.
He cites police reform and reparations as two roads not yet taken. Others add voting rights to this list.