The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

June 19, 2013

Primus Mootry: Juneteenth an African-American celebration of freedom

(Continued)

But it wasn’t until then, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and six months after the 13th Amendment, that slaves in Texas were told they were free. Historians are unclear as to the exact reasons for the delay, but the day Texans were told black slaves were free was June 19th — “Juneteenth.”

Since that time, there has been slow, but steady progress toward making June 19 a national day of observance (not a paid holiday). The present leader of the Juneteenth movement, Rev. (Dr.) Ron Myers, writes:

“We hope President Obama will acknowledge Juneteenth as the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the legacy of enslavement. Congress unanimously passed seven joint resolutions recognizing Juneteenth. We are hopeful that Congress will finally enact legislation to establish the 19th of June on all calendars as America’s 2nd Independence Day.”

The work of Dr. Myers and other Juneteenth Day proponents has resulted the recognition of the date by 42 states. Through the efforts of Representative William Crawford, Indiana was the 34th state to recognize the day, and Juneteenth celebrations have been or are being held throughout Indiana, including Anderson. It should be noted that Juneteenth celebrations are not intended to substitute for the July 4th holiday.

Throughout the states, these celebrations usually include events such as parades, community gatherings, special church services, backyard barbecues, or other activities that bring the community together in the spirit of unity and racial reconciliation. I expect these celebrations will become even more commonplace in the coming years as well as newsworthy.

Incidentally, through the efforts of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, today a statue of Frederick Douglass will be unveiled in Washington, D.C., at the Capitol Visitor Center. The Douglass statue will be the fourth African American monument at the Center. His speech, “What to the American Slave is the 4th of July?” will be read at the unveiling ceremony.

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  • underwood mug [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Scott Underwood: Headlines can capture imagination I'd just left the newspaper office one morning and was driving north on Jackson Street, when I stopped at a red light and glanced at the rearview mirror.

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  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

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  • Maureen Hayden: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress for national security failures Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.

    July 27, 2014

  • Vaughan, Nancy mug [Duplicate] Nancy Vaughan: Fireworks and fireflies mean summer in full swing Hasn't July been a fabulous month? It began with multiple fireworks venues and parades and ends with fairs and football in full swing. We have been blessed with mild weather and if you haven't had to travel much outside of the county, roadwork has been minimal.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: City unions go without contracts for many years How Anderson deals with unions has changed dramatically over the years. In the past it would have been unheard of for union members to continue to work without a contract or an agreed upon deadline. But members of three unions that represent Anderson city employees have been working without a new contract agreement for up to seven years.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jim Bailey: Traveling by passenger train was a page from the past My wife doesn’t remember riding on a full-fledged passenger train as a baby. Our children have never ridden. It’s an experience rapidly going the way of the horse and buggy and the stagecoach throughout a nation now obsessed with jumbo jets and sport-utility vehicles.

    July 26, 2014

  • Howard Hewitt: When it comes to wines, small can be very good Repeating the familiar is an easy way to go through life as is taking the safe road. We all do that but find unexpected rewards when taking the path less traveled. That little bit of philosophy applies to visiting wine country.

    July 26, 2014

  • Maleah Stringer: Hats off to the staff at Animal Protection League I often talk about the wonderful volunteers and community support we have at the Animal Protection League. And that volunteers are every non-profits "life blood" this is true for the Animal Protection League as well.

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  • Clark, Big Joe mug 'Big Joe' Clark: Beat the market or meet your goals? True or not, my experience tells me that goals – especially when written down – undoubtedly serve as catalysts for success. However, danger arises when a goal does not properly focus on the long term result you expect.

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