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Band of Brothers Augusta Presents: 2nd Aunnual Juneteeth Augusta
June 17 @ 12:00 pm - 6:00 pmFree
WHAT: 2nd Annual Juneteenth Augusta
WHEN: Sunday, June 17th, 2018, 12 pm to 6 pm
WHERE: May Park, Augusta Ga
This festival is FREE and open to the public. Festival goers will enjoy guest speakers, live music, inflatables and more! Grilling is encoraged!
The History Behind the Celebration:
Juneteenth is the best-known and one of the oldest American holidays that celebrates the end of slavery in the United States; it commemorates the date June 19, 1865, when the last African American slaves held in Confederate states were freed and has been observed since June 19, 1866.
Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as an executive order on January 1, 1863, its immediate impact was relatively small due to the fact that Confederate slaveowners weren’t compelled to observe Union authority. Thus, millions of African Americans continued to live as slaves until Union armies gradually made their way across the South to overtake Confederate resistance and enforce Lincoln’s order.
On June 19, 1865, approximately two-and-a-half years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, Union Army general Gordon Granger, accompanied with 2,000 federal troops, arrived in Galveston, Texas, and took possession of the state and stood on the steps of Ashton Villa and read General Order #3, announcing that all enslaved African still being held in the state of Texas were legally free. Six months later, the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865 would ultimately make slavery illegal throughout the entire United States.
General Order #3 Read:
“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, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
The heart of the Juneteenth celebration is the reading of General Order #3 by a community elder. As the words are read, everyone listening can imagine how they sounded on June 19th, 1865 to the African/African American people of Galveston, Texas, who learned that day that they were legally free and had been so for years.
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