Juneteenth: A Journey from Then to Now

Image Credit: Linnaea Mallette

           When I began researching my family tree, there was so much of the past, many unanswered questions that I am not sure I will ever uncover the answers to them. While I achieved a lot regarding education and my exposure to things my ancestors never experienced, I realize they were exposed to horrifying treatment and made sacrifices I could never fathom. I do not take my gratitude for granted. Looking back, I realize that my freedom is not free because a huge price was paid by those who came before me, whether they were family or not.

         It’s rather sad to witness some who have expressed eliminating the discussion of pivotal historical events that may not have occurred in the most positive light. They believe that people need to get over it and stop discussing it by rewriting more sanitized versions or completely eliminating certain parts of history from history books in school. I have to ask how these individuals who express such self-sensitivity do not think about how much the atrocities that happened to so many oppressed people, whose descendants cannot erase nor forget about their history, must feel. Do these individuals ever embody a sense of compassion to understand the scars people from many oppressed cultures suffered for the sake of the exaltation of a self-chosen few? I liken these discussions to the scene in Poltergeist where the bodies buried underground begin to surface and haunt more people, all because someone decided that what folks don’t know won’t hurt them. But people don’t forget, including the stories about their unsavory historical moments. We must vow to do better and be better.

         Juneteenth, short for “June Nineteenth” marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865. The troops came to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were set free. The arrival of the federal troops came two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Many ask if the physical freedom of those enslaved individuals included emotional and spiritual emancipation too.

            Let’s face it, you cannot erase history no matter how much you may try to sanitize it. Even if you choose to ignore it or avoid having a conversation about it, you still can never erase it. No, in our current social climate, we won’t suddenly have a kumbaya moment. If we don’t, however, shed light on healing from the atrocities that occurred in the past, those atrocities may only repeat history in a new and unsanitized way, sooner or later, and probably be far worse than it was in the past. For now, we celebrate with unshakeable resolve.

Image Credit: Linnaea Mallette


Remembering Why Juneteenth is What it is ✊🏼

File:Juneteenth Celebration at Emancipation Park 1880.png

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons (Juneteenth Celebration at Emancipation Park 1880. A group photograph of thirty-one people at a Juneteenth Celebration in Emancipation Park in Houston’s Fourth Ward.)

Freedom, the state of not being imprisoned, enslaved, restrained or hindered is a precious form of liberation to indeed celebrate. We celebrate Independence Day on July 4 in the United States of America to remember our independence from Great Britain in 1776. Around the world, throughout history many countries declared their independence from certain regimes. Today, June 19, we celebrate Juneteenth in the USA.

The celebration of Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day) commemorates the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Short for June Nineteenth, Juneteenth marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and to ensure that all enslaved people be free.

This month is especially momentous because two days ago, on Thursday June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris signed into law a bill establishing Juneteenth National Independence Day, as a federal holiday. Why is this bill beyond monumental and incredible? Because it is long overdue. How long? President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 declaring all enslaved people in the states that were engaged in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

This holiday observes the end to slavery in the United States of America and is considered the longest running African American holiday. The Emancipation proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 didn’t instantly free any enslaved people. It only applied to places under Confederate control. Please open your minds to understand why Juneteenth is a celebration of victory for all enslaved people then, along with their descendants since that time. This is why it is so important to remember and to never forget the significance of this observance. We don’t want to revisit or reenact a time that was so painful, divisive, and oppressive ever again, for anyone or any race of people. Click here to read more about this powerful, historical celebration.

President Lincoln, Slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation

Image Source: History.com

Juneteenth | DoDEA

Image Source: dodea.edu

JUNETEENTH Food Porn Friday: Freedom, Festivities, and Flavors!



It’s time for our Juneteenth Jammin’ Jubilee. Juneteenth is a pivotal and all-important historical celebration that is held annually on the nineteenth of June by African Americans (especially in the southern states). Here we are, 155 years later, commemorating emancipation from slavery in Texas on this day in 1865. While this is a monumental mile-marker, much has changed, yet some mindsets throughout generations remain the same. Still, setbacks do not cease this celebration from happening annually nationwide.

Lowcountry boil


Everyone knows that food is an essential part of any celebration. The African influences through meals prepared by slaves with weekly food rations of lard, cornmeal, peas, greens, flour, some meat, or molasses were turned into delicacies we deem as “soul food.”

The following dishes are a few of the cuisines that characterize the holiday and commemorates the day.
  • Barbecue
  • Collard Greens & Sweet Potatoes
  • Red Soda Water (and anything else that’s red)
  • Tea Cakes
  • Watermelon
  • Lowcountry Boil

Juneteenth Jamboree


I invite you to feel free to click here to learn more about this history-making time of emancipation…Juneteenth.


Commemorating 154 Years of Juneteenth

Juneteenth, Freedom Day

Image Source: Flags.com

Today marks the 154th celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day. This American holiday commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America.

This was a critical and pivotal time in the history of our country but only the infancy steps of freedom for slaves. The celebration of June 19th was coined “Juneteenth” and grew with more participation from descendants. The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members.

Celebrate freedom. Celebrate Juneteenth!

Juneteenth: Emancipation for Humanity

Slavery, Emancipation Proclamation, Abraham , Juneteenth

Image Source: North Amarillo Now

Slavery has remained one of the darkest clouds in the history of the United States and in many parts of the world. Slaves were not even considered people, but property like cattle. The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. This proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states (more than 3 million enslaved people in designated areas of the South) “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Also known as Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, Juneteenth commemorates the day Union General Gordon Granger along with 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas (a rebellious state) to take possession of the state in order to enforce the emancipation of its slaves.

I always wondered whether the last line of the poem, Defence of Fort M’Henry written in 1814 by poet Francis Scott Key, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave (better known in our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner) had any significance behind the writing and execution of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863? There are many resources for learning about the historical influences behind Juneteenth. You can find out more about this holiday and how it is celebrated 152 years later around the country, by visiting Juneteenth.com.

Happy Juneteenth!