Tuesday, October 9, 2012

June 19th- Juneteenth- Freedom Day; Commemorate the Abolition of Slavery

Abraham Lincoln is responsible for the Emancipation Proclamation
Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19th, and is an annual observance of When the Union (Republican Party) soldiers defeated the Confederates, enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation, which resulted freeing all of the remaining slaves, and its celebration dates back to 1865. (Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abrahan Lincoln in 1863)
This is a tradition for many families and for some, and for others it is a a new celebration that they are just beginning to learn about. So, how does one celebrate this day?
Some families and individuals put their focus on who they see as the true anti slavery heroes and honor those people, such as Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln, while others like to pay tribute to the early black performers who continued to close the racial gap in the decades after the Civil War.
Block parties, picnics, and private parties are the buzz on Juneteenth.
Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography in the 1840's.
Frederick Douglass wrote his autobiography in the 1840's.

Frederick Douglass

His autobiography was so well written, that he gave credibility to the Union Army, and the argument that slaves had the ability to be educated and live just as free people do.

Music

After the Civil War, black people were free but, found themselves in a rather awkward predicament. They were still on the outside, and were now trying to see where they could fit in. One of the ways that they were able to express themselves artistically, and at the same time gain a level of social acceptance, was with their music.
It is difficult to comprehend this today, but music of the 19th and early part of the 20th century were very distinctly separated by race as was most everything else. Today, everything is so mixed up, that we don't really have those distinctions. White people performed classical music, and black people had had their own style.
The style of music that black people pioneered so well, and caused such a sincere appreciation by white people were Jazz and Blues for the most part. With such distinct and uncrossable color lines between white and black, I wonder where we would be today if it were not for that one thing that brings us all together , Music.
For this reason many who celebrate Juneteeth as Freedom Day, play music from Bessie Smith, Paul Robeson, and Clara Ward.
The songs of the day range from swinging Jazz numbers to Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

Soul Food

This is not the day to be on a diet, because soul food is fun comfort food.
Preparing for a lunch or dinner with black eyed peas, and fried chicken is an art form of its own. There is not much that is more satisfying than real southern fried chicken.
There are a variety of foods and ingredients that you can bring to your party or picnic, such as Eggplant, cucumber, rice. These are all stapes to many soul food recipes.
Some may to go all out with pigs feet, and pig ears, as these are also some traditions, but those who eat tripe with cornmeal are a dying breed, the other animal parts are only for the true die hard live dangerously type.
How ever, you choose to celebrate, even if its in a quiet way, the important thing to remember is that even though this day does not get as much attention as many other holidays, it is still an important day to remember, and be thankful for.

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