Juneteenth Weekend! What It Means to Keeta King
This Saturday on June 19, DeKalb, Texas is celebrating Juneteenth with a celebratory parade beginning at Ward Little League Ball Field located at 707 West Grizzly Dr. Also on Saturday in Texarkana there will be a parade organized by one of the Scholars are hosting an entire Juneteenth extravaganza this Saturday.
Juneteenth is a very special day of independence for Black people in the south, ESPECIALLY those of us in Texas. Although most African Americans are accustomed to western civilization's tradition of celebrating the July 4th as independence day with patriotic garb and fireworks, the truth of the matter is that Black folks were not free during the signing of the declaration of indepence. So, it really was never a "holiday" created for U.S. although it has has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941.
In 1776, Black people were still slaves. Well, of course you won't read that in the history books, as it's one of those things we, as Americans, sweep underneath the rug, which makes sense being that slavery is not that part of history that we're proud of.
Not to give you a history lesson... well maybe :) Anywho.... In 1865 former POTUS Abraham Lincoln "freed the slaves"..... but due to limited access to the outside world, oppression, and extremely limited education, Black people in Texas and some continuous state had NO idea they were free!
Ohhhhhhh but one faithful day a white US Army officer and Union general by the name of Gordan Granger rode into Galveston, Texas and change the game!! He had no idea that in establishing the Unions authority over Texas to FREE the already free slaves would establish the basis for Juneteenth. In this day of immediate communication, it's difficult to wrap our brains around the fact that Granger's news came two and a half years prior to the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln that actually freed ALL slaves. Texas was just a tanch late on that info.
With that said, I'm not one to cry over the past, but one to embrace the present and where we're going. Once Black folks in Texas realized we were free, we turnt up! lol We established some traditions that defy time and state boundaries. Below are some of the traditions my family upheld and I still do to this day. Here we go....
On Juneteenth, we always had RED soda. I wish I could tell you why LOL We also had:watermelon, homemade ice cream, barbecue and entertainment engulfed in the black culture. I LOVE JUNETEENTH! I feel it's the one thing in "this world" that we haven't been deprived of and hasn't been stifled. I could go on and on about my fond memories a child celebrating this holiday. Instead, I'll share with you what's poppin' in the city and surrounding area this weekend.
Texarkana - 2021 Juneteenth parade to begin at 10 a.m. on front street Downtown TK. Various activities and entertainment, sponsored by The Scholars, will take place this weekend. DON'T MISS IT. To participate and/or get more information, contact Ayden Howard, the 12-year-old organizer at 903-402-5225 or stop by Resilience Studios located at 2311 North Stateline Texarkana, TX.
DeKalb - Juneteenth Parade to begin at 10 a.m. at Ward Little League Ball Field (707 West Grizzly Dr.). Organizers invite you to drive your old or new car, truck, bike, motorcycle or saddle horse in the parade. To participate and/or get or more information, call Jerome and Janix Williams at 903-667-3746.
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