Juneteenth

By kateandcarla

June 18, 2011

Category: Uncategorized

5 Comments »

I love the fact that I share a birthday with Juneteenth.

There is something in the story of 250,000 people being free and not knowing it until a formal proclamation is made that strikes a chord in my soul. Makes me wonder what each of us might  do, change, become, think, say if we only knew the truth of ourselves. And who it is we need to hear proclaim what before we grab our deepest sense of freedom and go.

According to this excellent account on the Smithsonian site http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/Juneteenth-Our-Other-Independence-Day.html#ixzz1Pe8W2eoH, Union General Gordon Granger sailed into Galveston Bay with more than 2,000 Union troops in June 1865.  On the 19th–two-and-a-half years after Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation–he stood on this balcony and read what became known as General Order Number Three.  It began simply:   “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”.

With this being the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, I’m thinking this Juneteenth merits some special attention–beyond the great festivals going on right now in Denver’s Five Points and many other communities across the U.S.  What if, for example, we considered this time–between June 19 and July 4–something like Advent leading to Christmas? Made it a time for thinking about freedom in all its facets–beyond anthems and flags and pledges, as significant as those can be–for all our people. A time for observing equality, regardless of color or gender of ethnicity or pick-your-difference.

Just a thought.

Now, I think I’ll go out and pursue some happiness.

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5 Responses to “Juneteenth”

  1. Boy, I love that Advent to Christmas idea, but then I’m a big fan of mindful attention. And freedom (meaning opportunity, not entitlement) is really worth mulling over, especially as so many places try to capture their own form of freedom these days.

    Happy happy, philosophical birthday girl!

  2. Happy Birthday, Carla! Wish I could impart some words of wisdom regarding this age, but I’m really not very wise. I will say this that I’m content with my age and this stage of my life. While I do surely miss the years when my son was growing up (although the teenage years were a challenge!), I don’t think I would want to go back. I actually like the empty nest and being able to go or do whatever and whenever we want. And I REALLY love being a grandma! They are such a joy and wonderful addition to our family. Now if I could just retire, life would be sweeter (I think!). Have a wonderful day. I’ll be spending Father’s Day at Red Haw State Park near Chariton. Mark and his family are camping there, so we are picking up Dad and going to enjoy a BBQ. I’ve baked a big batch of snickerdoodles and will make an easy peach cobbler tomorrow morning. It will be good!

    • Isn’t it interesting how we can be ambivalent about growing older but wouldn’t trade today, with the grandkids and all, for yesterday? Hope your picnic was rain-free and wonderful. Hear you guys have been getting hit. ALSO…just listened to a great book about Al Capone (road trip material) and learned that Green City played a role in some of the 1930s “untouchable” crime era. Learn something new every (almost) day. 😉

  3. And you shared it with Pridefest weekend. I love when all those important events collide and force us to think about who we are, what we believe, and what we want our legacy to be. Little Lily is lucky to have role models in her life who embrace and celebrate diversity, and demand equality for all.

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