June 19th is Juneteenth! If you haven’t heard of this, this is the day we celebrate the ending of slavery. Though President Lincoln signed the Emancipation of Proclamation on September 22, 1862, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that all slaves were finally freed. That concluding event was when General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas with his troops and issued Order Number 4 which finally freed the last of the slaves.
Order Number 4 stated
"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 rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."
In the 1870s, a group former slaves pooled $800 together through local churches to purchase ten acres of land and create Emancipation Park to host future Juneteenth celebrations in modern-day Houston.
Texas was the first state to declare June 19th a holiday.
“In 1980 “Emancipation Day in Texas” became a legal state holiday in recognition of Juneteenth. However state offices do not completely close, as it is considered a "partial staffing holiday." Elsewhere, the holiday is also referred to as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day.”
HOW JUNETEENTH IS CELEBRATED IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
The following is a list of planned events: [PLEASE TAKE NOTE: not all of the events fall on the exact day of June 19)
The Central Florida Juneteenth Festival 2019 Town of Eatonville Field
200 E. Kennedy Blvd Maitland, FL Saturday, June 22 through June 23, 2019 Between 3pm and 8 pm.
The 1st Annual Central Florida Juneteenth Festival will be held Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 and June 23rd, 2019 at the Town of Eatonville Field (the same location as the Zora Neale Hurston Festival- 200 E. Kennedy Blvd, Eatonville, FL, 32751)
Activities include: family movie night, youth empowerment workshops, outdoor festival, food vendors, art & business vendors, performances, kid zone, art exhibits, Juneteenth Dance Off & Live Bands.
The Cotton Club Museum and Culture Center 837 SE Seventh Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601 Friday, June 21, 2019 7:30 am to 9:30 am
Tickets for this breakfast event are $25.
“The Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and promoting the African American history and culture of North Central Florida through education and the arts - with an emphasis on music.”
Free Film “History of Juneteenth”
2444 Central Ave
St. Petersburg, FL 33712 Wednesday, June 19, 2019 7 pm to 9 pm.
“Dr. Shennette Garrett-Scott speaks at the Allen Public Library. Her program traces the history of Juneteenth events from the late nineteenth century freedmen colonies and settlements' celebrations to the present community events. 41 minutes”
Here is a Youtube video entitled “Juneteenth: Freedom At Last” [embed youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOOguH71--E]