Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
With the growing Black Lives Matter movement, many are finding it necessary to learn the overlooked stories of African Americans. One of the several things that wasn’t taught in history class, is the importance of Juneteenth. The holiday falls on June 19th and honors the day enslaved Texans were made aware of their freedom.
A lot of text has attributed the end of slavery to the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The legislation was then put into effect on January 1, 1863 declaring that enslaved Africans in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union, would be free. While this was a milestone in American history, states were still operating the same way they did prior to the legal act.
Two and a half years following the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, Texas slaves were notified of their freedom. Prior to General Granger’s arrival, Texans withheld the information due to the lack of Union enforcement, according to history.com. The reason the information was withheld so long and why enforcement didn’t arrive sooner is unclear, though there have been several explanations told through history. June 19, 1865 marked the day Texans were forced to free roughly a quarter of a million slaves, making it the last state in the nation to do so. Slavery was later abolished in December of the same year with the 13th Amendment, according to Juneteenth.com.
History.com revealed that freed slaves organized a jubilee in honor of the day they received their emancipation. The annual celebration became known as Juneteenth and recognized by states in the country. Though it is recognized in numerous states, its significance has been forgotten for multiple reasons. Not only is its lack of acknowledgement in academic resources an issue, but also that workers are not granted the day off. Without proper knowledge and time allotted to honor Juneteenth, many Americans do not have the luxury of celebrating.
Against these hindering factors, the Black community finds unique ways to commemorate. With intentions to highlight achievement, education, and excellence, African Americans dive deep into their roots with gatherings, music, literature, art, reflection, and a plethora of other things. The beauty birthed from struggle it met with love, healing, and warmth as the songs of a new America fill the air on this day.
Sankofa, derived from a Ghanaian tribe, teaches us the importance of learning from the past in order to prepare for the future. In 2020, the amplification of this year’s Juneteenth is extremely important. As we recognize the contributions the Black community has given the United States, it is also a time to unify and demand the respect that is deserved. Though enslaved Africans were granted freedom, descendants from those same Africans have aided in the advancement of the nation with little to no recognition or compensation. 155 years later, Black people are still fighting to obtain true opportunity, power, and respect in this country.
On June 19, 1865 our ancestors were freed from physical chains across the nation. June19, 2020, we work to free ourselves from the mark they have left.
AfterBuzz TV will continue to cover the latest events around the country and justice for George Floyd. Make sure to share this article with a friend to keep the names of Floyd and other innocent Black people alive.
Toree Weaver is an AfterBuzz TV host with a passion for glamour and kingdoms. When she isn’t modeling or dancing, she can be found binge watching shows from Gossip Girl to Game of Thrones.
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