June 18 - 21: Juneteenth Festival Of The Carolinas 2009

As The Board Of Directors Of The Juneteenth Festival Of The Carolinas Inc prepares for it's 12th annual celebration we invite your participation. It is our belief that your involvement will be a statement to the ideals of our nation which essentially read "liberty and justice for all". The concept of Juneteenth transcends all socio-economic & political delineations. Juneteenth is about respect for humanity and the universal rights to freedom.

June 18 - 21, 2009
Independence Park
E. 7th St & Hawthorne Ln

Charlotte, NC

For schedule & more info see:
Juneteeth Festival Of The Carolinas

History from Wikipedia:

Though the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, it had minimal immediate effect on most slaves’ day-to-day lives, particularly in Texas, which was almost entirely under Confederate control. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. Legend has it while standing on the balcony of Galveston’s Ashton Villa, Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3”:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.[10]
That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a name derived from a portmanteau of the words June and nineteenth.

Former slaves in Galveston rejoiced in the streets with jubilant celebrations. Juneteenth celebrations began in Texas the following year.[10] Across many parts of Texas, freed people pooled their funds to purchase land specifically for their communities’ increasingly large Juneteenth gatherings — including Houston’s Emancipation Park, Mexia’s Booker T. Washington Park, and Emancipation Park in Austin.[10] Juneteenth celebrations include a wide range of festivities, such as parades, street fairs, cookouts, or park parties and include such things as music and dancing or even contests of physical strength and intellect. Baseball and other popular American games may also be played.

Observation from Wikipedia:

The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas; for more than a century, the state of Texas was the primary home of Juneteenth celebrations. However, one small community in Arkansas (Wilmar) boasts that its celebration, called "June Dinner" has been consistently observed and celebrated, except for one year, since approximately 1870.[citation needed] Since 1980, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas. It is considered a "partial staffing holiday" meaning that state offices do not close but some employees will be using a floating holiday to take the day off.[3] Twelve other states list it as an official holiday, including Arkansas, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Alaska. In California, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed June 19 "Juneteenth" on June 19, 2005,[4][5] however, some of these states, such as Connecticut, do not consider it a legal holiday and do not close government offices in observance of the occasion.[6] Its informal observance has spread to some other states, with a few celebrations even taking place in other countries.[7] [5]

As of May 2009, 31 states[1] and the District of Columbia have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or state holiday observance; these include Alaska,[5] Arkansas, California,[5] Colorado, Connecticut,[5] Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas,[2] Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, [8] Missouri, New Jersey,[5] New Mexico, New York,[5] North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas,[1] Vermont,[1] Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.[9]

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