Juneteenth (celebrated annually on June 19th) is African Americans’ Independence Day, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day. It celebrates the end of slavery in Texas – a symbol of the South. When Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, it had little immediate effect on most slaves, particularly in the Confederate States. Most African Americans remained slaves until the end of the Civil War in 1865. But in Galveston, Texas, slaves did not even get the word that slavery had ended until June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln had freed them with the Emancipation Proclamation. Texas resisted to the very end. On June 18th General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with 2,000 federal troops to enforce the emancipation of slaves. On June 19th, from the balcony of the Ashton Villa, he declared, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves.” The streets filled with jubilant celebrations, and Juneteenth began to be celebrated the following year. Today it is officially observed in 42 states, including New York, and here in White Plains. Our annual Juneteenth Parade has become a joyful celebration of freedoms achieved and source of energy for the struggles before us.
Pastor Jeff will lead our procession with our Pentecost flag created by Rev. Dunn. Several of us will carry the church banner. Please be in touch via this email if you would like to participate but do no think you can walk the whole way. It's gonna be a great day for freedom. The parade begins at 11:00 and is a comfortable walk up Mamaroneck Avenue and then down Main Street to City Hall. From beginning to end it is less than a mile. Wear comfortable shoes, your PC(USA) shirt, and consider bringing a water bottle.