Signed into law today is a new federal holiday celebrating the time in June, 1865, that slaves in Texas found out they had been freed in 1863. I had never heard of Juneteenth and when my wife-to-be told me about how excited her family would be to travel back to Texas every year “for Juneteenth,” I had to ask her what it was.
As was typical for the time and her youth, she did not know the background and only much later did I find out that it was not until the Federal forces arrived in 1865 that the slave found out about their freedom. That was personal for us because my wife’s great-grandfather had served another 2 years as a slave, making him about 25 years old when he was freed.
True to our times, no doubt there will be a shrug of the shoulders among many of our citizens, others will complain about the effect of another federal holiday on the economy, as they did for MLK Day. At no time will they notice the irony of their celebration of their freedom in 1776 while my wife’s ancestors remained unfree.
However, they will point out that Obama and Juneteenth should make everyone shut up about Black people being shot by the police. OMG, what more do THOSE PEOPLE want?!

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