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Independence Day

Did you know that some Americans, mainly African Americans don't celebrate Independence day on July 4th, but rather on TODAY, June 19th.

For those of you that don't know here's some history, and I must admit I didn't know a lot about it until I started researching to write this post. June 19th is known as Juneteenth or Emancipation Day in the United States and it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas on June 19, 1865.

That was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the order.

Juneteenth is celebrated very similarly to current day July 4th celebrations. Traditionally rodeo's, fishing, baseball games and of course barbeques were held to entertain the masses as they celebrated that great day for Blacks in 1865 and those activities are still part of the various Juneteenth celebrations held around the nation.

Juneteenth usually focuses on education and self improvement. Often guest speakers are brought in and community leaders and elders are called upon to describe the events of the past. Being the deeply spiritual and religious people that a large number of blacks are, prayer services are also a major part of celebrations.

So Juneteenth is not just a day to celebrate, but it's a day to learn, remember, and praise. As you drive to the beach, ride that rollercoaster, or enjoy a rib straight from the grill in the backyard in celebration of the upcoming July 4th Independence holiday, we can't forget what we as blacks have come out of, overcome, and mastered. But we also can't forget that there is a long road ahead of us that we must travel.

Thanks for all of the helpful information that I have been able to pass along and thank you Joe Claire Morning Show caller for planting the seed in my head!

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