Sometimes the news is a little slow. Like when NPR said Juneteenth was the day enslaved Americans found out they were free. Texas is a little slow, but not that slow. The Emancipation Proclamation was two years prior. Everybody knew. And deep down, everybody knows they are meant to be free.
General Granger of the Union army was not talking to Black folks when he read the little announcement in Galveston. As if enslaved people were free to wander around town and listen to some chap who showed up on a boat.
General Granger was there to tell the white folk of Texas how it was going to be. Because Appomattox Courthouse was two months prior and the not so fine folks of Texas were still trading slaves.
The myth of Black folks being all surprised at the news, is a myth. Everybody knew what was right and what was coming. It took men with guns to make it happen.
Now many years later, Texas was the first to make Juneteenth a holiday. But let's be a little more honest about how it went down and who really needed to get the memo.
Happy Juneteenth. Let's keep working to do the right we should've done.
Here's some light reading on the subject: