CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Juneteenth marks the true end of slavery in the United States. On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves of the Confederate states.
But word didn't travel as fast in the 1860s as it does in today's society.
It took two-and-a-half years for Lincoln's proclamation to reach Texas and its quarter of a million slaves. Historians claim many slave owners intentionally withheld the news in order to keep labor intact.
But that changed when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865. On June 19, 1865, the slaves were freed.
Juneteenth remains a special holiday, especially on the Texas Coast, and the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education (TABPHE) continues to hold the Corpus Christi Juneteenth Festival along with other celebrations.
On Tuesday, June 14, you can join a zoom discussion on the topic of decreasing trauma in children of color.
This year's festival will be on Saturday, June 18 at Water's Edge Park. The creator of the popular dance "The Cupid Shuffle," CUPID, will perform. There will be music, a kids zone, food trucks, and more. Chalie Boy and Bayou City Brass Band will also perform.
There will also be social services, medical screenings, and a Ride for Freedom starting from Whataburger Field at 11 a.m.
On Sunday, June 19, there will be a family barbeque in the historic Hillcrest Neighborhood. The BBQ is open to the pubic and will begin at 3 p.m. at Dr. H.J. Williams Memorial Park (AKA Hillcrest Park), on 1506 Minton St.
The first Juneteenth was celebrated in Austin in 1867. Texas became the first state to declare it a holiday more than a century later in 1980.
Juneteenth has been celebrated in the U.S. for decades with barbecues, rodeos, baseball games and church ceremonies.
Juneteenth is now a federal holiday. It is known by many as the Second Independence Day.
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