Spartanburg celebrates Juneteenth with a renewed resolve – Spartanburg Herald Journal – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Jerome Rice  |  For the Herald-Journal

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The enslaved people freed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, could not have known that their emancipation — news of which was delivered to them by Union soldiers under Gen. Gordon Granger more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued — would one day serve as a symbolic marker of the end of officially sanctioned slavery in the United States.

When those soldiers marched through Galveston announcing, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” the formerly enslaved people there celebrated, and then they gathered again to celebrate the anniversary the next year. In doing so they created a foundation for the holiday that eventually became known as Juneteenth organically, in what certainly must be one of the most important expressions of Black joy in our nation’s history.

That joy, so deep that its anniversary became a touchstone in the lives of those who experienced it, continues today in the spirit of Spartanburg’s Juneteenth Celebration Weekend.

Read this: During Juneteenth, here’s where to see historical Black landmarks in Spartanburg County

Monier Abusaft: Juneteenth’s lessons are important for the Spartanburg community

Created by residents from all walks of life who came together with the city and a wide array of partners and sponsors, Juneteenth Celebration Weekend features a diverse series of events unlike anything Spartanburg has seen before, showcasing the talent, optimism, and charac


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