Education Initiative Press Releases and Feature Articles
Why Juneteenth Mattersby Shennette Garrett-Scott
"When peace come they read the 'Mancipation law to the cullud people. [The freed slaves]
spent that night singin' and shoutin'. They wasn't slaves no more."
— Former slave Pierce Harper in 1937 recalling 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned the Civil War was over and that they had been emancipated more than two years earlier by the Emancipation Proclamation
Union Brigadier General Gordon Granger and 1,800 federal troops arrived off the coast of Galveston in mid-June 1865. Though many enslaved people had already learned through the "grapevine telegraph" and from African American dockworkers and U.S. Colored Troops that they were free, on June 19, 1865, Granger made news of freedom official.
Click to read a sample of "Why Juneteenth Matters"
Shennette Garrett-Scott is an associate professor of history and African American studies at the University of Mississippi. She is the author of Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal. Follow her on Twitter at @EbonRebel.
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