Juneteenth has been touted as a national day celebrating the end of slavery. Observances from coast to coast have turned this event into part of the national conversation about race, slavery, and how Americans understand, acknowledge, and explain what has been called the national "original sin." What is the origin story? What are the facts, and legends, around this important day in the nation's history? This is the first scholarly book to delve into the history behind Juneteenth.
The essential, sweeping story of Juneteenth's integral importance to American history, as told by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Texas native. Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed's On Juneteenth provides a historian's view of the country's long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. Gordon-Reed forges a new and profoundly truthful narrative of her home state, with implications for us all.
On this island called Galveston,Texas, African-Americans have a unique position in the history of the world. They were the pioneers of much of the civilization that occurred in this part of the world. "Juneteenth" has become a term used by persons all over the nation who recognize the term as now synonymous with the freedom of the former black-skinned slaves. This term comes from the fact that, in Galveston, Texas, General Granger arrived by ship with orders that were read to the public at Ashton Villa on June 19, 1865.
African American residents of Galveston therefore had the distinction of being the first place to embrace the freedom of persons of color in the southern part of the United States of America.
In this revealing study, Mitch Kachun explores the multiple functions and contested meanings surrounding African American emancipation celebrations from the abolition of the slave trade to the fiftieth anniversary of U.S. emancipation.