It’s hard for a humble blogger to keep up with everything, but I didn’t want to let today pass without recognizing, and celebrating, that today is Juneteenth!
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to take effect on January 1st, 1863, but it took two and a half years, until June 19th, 1865, for that proclamation to be announced publicly and enforced in Galveston, Texas by General Gordon Grainger and his 2,000 Union troops. Ever since then, “Juneteenth” has been a day to celebrate this proclamation of freedom to the captives. It has been an official state holiday in Texas since 1980, and as of this year is officially recognized in 28 other states. It is also a day to reflect on the two and a half year delay, and on the patience, persistence, and force needed to establish justice in our society.
Also celebrated in June is Loving Day, which I only know about by the grace of the amazing street photographer Michael David Murphy of While Seated. The U.S. Supreme Court case of Loving vs. Virginia finally established the legality of interracial marriage in the United States (which was then illegal in Virginia and 16 other states), as of June 12th, 1967. Yes, you read that right: 1967.