Happy Juneteenth everyone.  And how many people even know what that is?  Juneteenth commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States.  According to various reports, In 1865, it was around the teens of June that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas to finally tell Texas that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation (and if you remember your history, that was January 1, 1863).

Apparently, the Emancipation Proclamation had little impact at the time in Texas.  This has been prescribed to be the result of not enough Union troops to enforce the new laws.  It wasn’t until after the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the resulting arrival of General Granger’s regiment, that the Union Army was able to enforce anti-slavery laws.  And so, finally General Order 3 was enforced.  Does anyone know what that order said?  

“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 rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer.”      

So, finally a couple years after the proclamation, slavery ended everywhere in America.  And the concept of free labor began.  (And yet, we are still working on our definition of free labor.)   Herein ends Carol’s history lesson on Juneteenth.  So get on with your celebration!

Oh how does this relate to my focus on anti-violence on this blog?  Isn’t it obvious?  Post in the comments, why you think it is or isn’t.