Juneteenth is a national holiday celebrated in 41 of the 50 states. Across the country African-Americans celebrate the day with parades, festivals and street fairs. In Harlem, residents discussed voter registration and political involvement and almost on cue Rep.Charlie Rangel arrived to much fanfare. There was also a bike show put on by the Ruff Ryders motorcycle club, music provided by a DJ, pick-up basketball games and children’s face painting.
We hung and snapped a few photos.
Tomorrow marks the 147th anniversary of Juneteenth, recognizing
the announcement that slavery had been abolished in Texas on June 19,
1865. Though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed two years earlier
in 1863 by President Lincoln, many states, especially in the
Confederacy, did not adhere to the law. Juneteenth signifies the date
when Union General Gordon Granger, along with 2,000 troops marched into
Galveston, Texas and enforced emancipation — Texas was
one of the Confederate states most reluctant to comply. The march led by General Granger for many
historians is the official date that slavery was ended, as many of the
other states in the confederacy began to follow suit.