From the mouths of babes we learn so many historically significant facts. Schools have been teaching youngsters about Juneteenth through children's picture books for several years. However, if you haven't been around elementary school children for a while, you may not be up on your Juneteenth traditions. This year consider sharing All Different Now: Juneteenth, The First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, adorned by the magnificent illustrations of E.B. Lewis. Here is a sample on Amazon, along with other suggestions for books on the holiday. You can also check out your local libraries' websites and other websites on Juneteenth for information. Hopefully, Juneteenth will be an official national holiday next year.
Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, in Texas
An annual celebration in Texas sinc 1866
Juneteenth 2020 marks the 155th anniversary of the arrival of Union General Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was made law on January 1, 1863. While it was believed these African Americans were the last slaves freed, evidence tells us slavery was not totally abolished in the US territories until December 1865 with the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Today, in the age of Covid-19, we can celebrate in social-distanced gatherings, such as one at St. Barnabas Church in Irvington, from 2 - 6 pm; Mount Vernon this morning on the steps of the City Hall; and Haverstraw City Hall, Rockland County, at 6 pm. Or virtually, through numerous programs online. In Greenburgh, N.Y, we have a motorcade at noon, followed by a Zoom presentation at 8 pm. The link is here.
|Courtesy of the New York Public Library|
Programs are available through the New York Public Library System throughout the day too, online. For more information click here.
Let us rejoice in the celebration of freedom for all.
Beth and the New York Arts Exchange
Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange