The oven is back on at Heck’s Kitchen, and Jenny reminds us that today is Juneteenth. Yes it is.
On June 19 (“Juneteenth”), 1865, Union general Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, thus belatedly bringing about the freeing of 250,000 slaves in Texas. The tidings of freedom reached slaves gradually as individual plantation owners read the proclamation to their bondsmen over the months following the end of the war.
Q: But wait. Didn’t Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation free the slaves on January 1, 1863?
A: Yes, that’s right.
Q: Then why did it take more than two years for this information to reach Texas?
A: Because white people suck.
Q: Isn’t that a little harsh?
A: See above.
Juneteenth is also the name of Ralph Ellison’s posthumously published second novel. His first novel being, of course, the brilliant Invisible Man.