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Happy Juneteenth: Commemorating the ending of slavery

caines | 6/20/2013, 5:30 a.m.

The City of Miami Model City N.E.T. Office will have their 12th Annual Juneteenth Commemoration at the Little Haiti Cultural Arts Center on June 19 at 6 p.m. This years theme is A Shift in the Atmosphere. The event will celebrate the emancipation of slaves that occurred more than a century ago, and it will recognize people who are presently making a difference community, such as Commander Dana Carr, Officer Michaelle Bell, Vivalora Perkins Smith and the women of the RJT Foundation. There will be performances by Angee Griffin, a local music artist; Big Brooklyn, a jazz singer; and Jon Saxx, a saxophonist. Many people dont know the significance of Juneteenth, according to Voncarol Kinchens, administrator for the Model City Neighborhood Advancement Team. She said the holiday needs to be celebrated just like other important parts of history. Juneteenth in not recognized as a state holiday in Florida although it is in 42 other states. Hopefully, the powers that be would catch on and make this a holiday in Florida as it is in other states, Kinchens said.

History of Juneteeth

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States that commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth is one of the oldest celebrations commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States and has been an African-American tradition since the late 19th century. Though Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had minimal immediate effect on most slaves day-to-day lives, particularly in the Confederate States of America.Texas, as a part of the Confederacy, was resistant to the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth commemorates June 18 and 19, 1865. June 18 is the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves.On June 19, 1865, while standing on the balcony of Galvestons Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of General Order No. 3. The events are celebratory and festive. Many African-American families use this opportunity to retrace their ancestry to the ancestors who were held in bondage for centuries, exchange artifacts, debunk family myths, and stress responsibility and striving to be the best you can be.

Floridas Emancipation Day

Although most African Americans recognize Juneteenth as Emancipation Day, some Floridans, celebrate Maysome, which recognizes Floridas Emancipation Day on May 20, 1965. The Old Dillard Museum in Fort Lauderdale and many other Black Museums have a celebration every year. Miami Times staff report