Skip to content

Juneteenth

Democrats And Banks Won’t Steal Juneteenth Or Pride

Every year, Pride Month ushers in the summer. For some, this is a celebration of the Stonewall uprising. For corporations and the Democratic Party, it’s a time to co-opt what was once a radical quer movement. Pride month marks a riot led by a Black trans woman, who threw bricks at the cops and alongside other people of color, queer folks and leftists fought the police in the streets for days. But today, it has become not only a profit scheme for corporations, but a means to portray themselves as allies while covering up their complicity in LGBTQ+ oppression. Bank of America, for example, has presented itself as an ally of the queer community, all the while profiting from privatizing and seizing houses from people.

What Really Happened On Juneteenth

If you saw my column about Juneteenth posted here over the last few days, or a previous version on the website of Be’chol Lashon several years ago, or a video version currently presented by Be’chol Lashon, you would know I had bittersweet feelings about the history of the day. I no longer do. I am outraged by it. My change in emotion comes after learning from historian friends that the oft-repeated tale of Union soldiers arriving in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 to inform enslaved African Americans that they were free is pure fiction. Not because they weren’t legally freed 2-½ months earlier when Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox. Or technically freed 2-1/2 years before when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring slavery null and void in areas under rebellion, very much including Texas.

Boycott Juneteenth 2022

I believe the reason there’s more disdain than pride is because it feels like we’re honoring a crime – a day commemorating the end of a 2 ½ year hostage negotiation where the captors were not punished yet instead compensated for the inconvenience of slavery ending. Our collective cases of injustice and reparations have been made with overwhelming evidence. Unfortunately, our moral victories aren’t moving the needle enough to ensure that our lives matter. It might be time to reject these trophies of courage and resilience while perpetrators of violence against us get slapped with feathers. No more ceremonies acknowledging injustices if it’s not accompanied by legislation that prevents it. As we have these national “enlightenment” moments of events like Tulsa, where are the laws that protect Black people from the impulses of that white rage repeating?

How Not To Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteenth was largely a regional holiday celebrated by Black people in Texas and other southern states. It commemorates the events of June 19, 1865, when Union troops arrived in Galveston and announced that slavery ended as per General Order Number 3. "The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” It is an important event that ought to be remembered, but its true significance has been lost. Juneteenth has become the latest iteration of liberal capture of Black politics, opportunistic virtue signaling, and the intentional misrepresentation of America’s history. Corrupt and avaricious corporations honor Juneteenth and cynical politicians give it great attention.

Juneteenth: Over 500 Strikes In The Last Three Weeks

Longshoremen are going on strike at 29 ports across the West Coast. The UAW is planning to stop production on all assembly lines for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to honor George Floyd.  The strikes come as workers have walked off the job at over 500 employers in the last 3 weeks alone. The Washington State General Strike saw workers go on wildcat strikes at over 250 locations across the state according to our Strike Tracking Map, The #ShutDownStem strikes last week also saw scientists go on strike at 109 locations across the US.  If the size of these strikes last week is any indication, Juneteenth will likely be the largest day of strikes in more than a generation.

History: June 19, 1865 ‘Juneteenth Emancipation Day’

Any bright high schooler or Constitutional law expert would say that African Americans were formally liberated when the Georgia legislature ratified the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865, guaranteeing its addition to the U.S. Constitution.  Yet freedom came in varied ways to the four million enslaved African Americans long before the end of the Civil War.  Some fortunate black women and men were emancipated as early as 1861 when Union forces captured outlying areas of the Confederacy such as the Sea Islands of South Carolina, the Tidewater area of Virginia (Hampton and Norfolk) or when enslaved people escaped from Missouri, Indian Territory, and Arkansas into Kansas. 

ILWU To Shut Down Ports For Juneteenth

On June 19, union members who work at the Port of San Diego will stop operations for eight hours in honor of Juneteenth, the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation being first enforced in Texas. The members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union at 29 ports from San Diego to Washington State will halt work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On June 19, 1865, Black slaves in Texas -- the most isolated rebel state in the South during the Civil War -- were told about their emancipation from slavery two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln, which was immediately changed the legal status of enslaved Blacks in the slave-holding states from slave to free.

Celebrating Juneteenth With Bold New Ideas

One day in late June, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas. They carried some historic news: Legal slavery had ended some two and a half years ago with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. And so some of the last enslaved people left in America were freed. The day became known as “Juneteenth,” a holiday still celebrated today in black communities across the United States. Yet more than 150 years after slavery, black wealth still lags centuries behind white wealth.

Why Juneteenth Should Be A National Holiday

On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with a Union regiment. It was over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and the enslaved people there and in other areas throughout Texas had not been officially informed that President Abraham Lincoln had decreed they were no longer someone’s property. Granger and his soldiers publicly issued General Order Number 3, telling the people of Texas that “all slaves are free.” The newly freed people of Texas chose that date to commemorate their freedom. This 152-year-old tradition launched by a generation of formerly enslaved people has emerged in the 21st century as a celebration of freedom, and demand for national observation.

Juneteenth: Still Fighting To End Jim Crow

This Juneteenth, there are actions around the militarization of police and community-based efforts to create security without the police. Eugene Puryear, who works with Stop Police Terror DC, discusses the Washington DC version of “Stop and Frisk,” which involves Jump Out Squads, and the efforts to get data on how this program works. Stop Police Terror DC grew out of mass Black Lives Matter protests, which Puryer helped organize, in reaction to the police violence in Ferguson, MO and around the country. We also discuss current events

Newsletter – This Juneteenth, End “US Way Of War”

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. We just returned from the weekend-long United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) conference in Richmond, VA. This is the fourth UNAC conference since its founding in 2010 to create a vibrant and active anti-war movement in the United States that opposes all wars. The theme this year was stopping the wars at home and abroad in recognition that we can't end one without ending the others, that they have common roots and that it will take a large, broad-based and diverse movement of movements to succeed. Speakers at the conference ranged from people who are fighting for domestic issues - such as a $15/hour minimum wage and an end to racist police brutality and ICE raids - to people who traveled from or represented countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Korea, the Philippines, the Congo, Iran, Syria, Colombia and Venezuela, which are some of the many countries under attack by US imperialism.
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.