The annual commemoration of that day came to be known as “Juneteenth” in Galveston and other Texas towns, with Black Americans celebrating with parades, pageants, musical performances, prayer gatherings and barbecues.
In the 20th century, thanks to the “Great Migration” of rural southern Blacks to the north and west, Juneteenth jubilees spread.
As Edward T. Cotham, Jr., explains in a new book, “Juneteenth: The Story Behind the Celebration,” Juneteenth lays claim to being “the oldest continuous commemoration of emancipation in America,” as it has been a day of jubilation in Galveston every year since June 19, 1866.
In early accounts of the festivities in white-owned newspapers in east Texas, the date had not yet telescoped into the “Juneteenth” shorthand.
In 1871, the Galveston Daily News called it a “celebration of freedom.” The Austin Statesman referred to it as “Emancipation Day” in 1874 and the “Emancipation Celebration” the following year.
Ben Zimmer, “, Laura Smalley, Gordon Granger, Abraham Lincoln, Biden, Sheila Jackson Lee, Edward T, Cotham, Juneteenth
Union, Black, Texas Rep, Galveston Daily, Statesman
Texas, Galveston , Texas, United States, Galveston, Blacks, America, jubilation