19 Jun Happy Juneteenth
In general, I’m not that much of a holiday person, I do like Christmas quite a lot, but other than that, I feel like I’ve just gotten past the last one when another one comes up. I don’t mean to be “Grinch-y” about it, it just feels hard to keep up with them sometimes!
This year, though, there’s a holiday that I hope we all can celebrate and take a moment to look at through new or fresh eyes this year: a uniquely American moment that really is cause for celebration for all peoples.
Juneteenth, a mash-up of the words “June and 19th”, marks the day in 1865 when news of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation finally reached all black people- and it happened here in Texas, no less!
When Union troops arrived in Galveston on June 19, 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger delivered General Order No. 3, which said: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.”
Obviously, and sadly, over the years, efforts were continually made to prevent this proclamation of equality from being a reality, but the principle that Americans love to celebrate in our nation–that we have a Creator who has made us with the unalienable right to liberty–is most fully seen through what happened on Juneteenth.
My point is simple: if we value all peoples made in the image of God, then this is a holiday, an easily celebratory moment for all peoples to say, “Thank you, God. Thank you for working in history to bring that moment about to aim us at a better, more just future.”
I’m happy to observe it today as well, with you.