Today is Juneteenth, marking the historical day in 1865 when Texas slaves finally heard President Lincoln’s emancipation decree.
Major General Gordon Granger called Lincoln, “the Executive of the United States” and couldn’t bring himself to refer to the President as such. He read a statement in Galveston, of which I quote:
“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.”
Granger packed a mouthful in that short address, and I’ll not touch his speech, but suggest the following sites for Juneteenth information.
An older article, but very worth your time reading about this historical day, is from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., where I found Granger’s quote. Here’s the link to PBS.org post.
Another great resource is today’s On Point Radio Broadcast from WBUR, with knowledgeable guests Vann Newkirk II, Daina Ramey Berry, Adrian Miller, Anastasia Pittman, and moderator Jane Clayson.
Turning to additional news of the day, we’ve seen images of children, here in the U.S., crying because they are separated from their parents who they were just with.
A lot of people are weighing in on this issue, so I’ll ask:
If you traveled to another country and had your children taken from you, would they cry?
There is a program, called The Giving Doll, whose mission is to provide a child a doll to comfort them in times of need.
Please check out their site, and if you like what you see, volunteer in some capacity.
They will be closed during the months of July and August, so stop by and let them know before they take a break.
I haven’t heard Don McLean’s American Pie in a long time, but two stanzas from the song come to mind,
“And in the streets the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken…
They were singing
Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die”
In 2015, McLean said this in an interview (with People.com), “Basically, in ‘American Pie’ things are heading in the wrong direction…It is becoming less ideal, less idyllic. I don’t know whether you consider that wrong or right, but it is a morality song in a sense.”
Warning, soapbox ahead…
God help us if there every comes a time when we need to flee the United States, and we seek asylum elsewhere. Because the world is marking this day on its calendar.
Is there a commonality between Juneteenth and immigration?
I do see a thread, a long white one, that when we pull on it, unravels more about people’s hearts and minds than what their mouths say.
What do you think?
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