Sample Research Paper on Juneteenth

Juneteenth is the Texan oldest yearly celebrations that marks the end of slavery in the United States. Being first acknowledged in 19th June 1865, the union soldiers under the leadership of Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free[1]. This was however 2 ½ years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was initially announced in 1st January 1863. The celebration has been coined to “Juneteenth” to capture the month and the date they received the great news of liberty from slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation little affected the Texans largely due to the distance Texas was from the battlefield and due to the minimal union troops that were available to enforce the order. However, after the capitulation of General Lee in April 1865 and the presence of General Granger’s regiment, the slavery force was overwhelmed to resist any longer.

General Granger took over and read to the people the general order number three, which is highly significant for the African Americans who were enslaved[2]. The order informed the African Americans that they were free according to the Proclamation. Hence, both genders came to acknowledge their equal rights and rights to property, a rule, which enabled them to own pieces of land irrespective of the color[3]. Juneteenth remained a day for celebrations as the African Americans remained at peace with each other, prayed for each other, and congregated as family members. The African Americans were shocked while others were jubilant over leaving their work places without prior plans. Majority of them travelled north towards Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas to join other family members. This freedom was additionally more challenging especially in the face of the great economic and social period where the African American faced widespread segregation based on color in most of the places they resided[4].

During this period, the families gather to entertain themselves, participate in fishing, rodeos, barbecuing, and playing baseball. These activities are closely related to the day as the members commemorate how they were denied the opportunity to assemble and participate in such. Moreover, the day is marked with emphasizes on education and self-improvement. This makes it difficult to end such days without guest speakers to recount past events and encourage the participants to improve their lives by taking up educational opportunities as they arise. Prayer services are also conducted before the participants resort to eating. Food is usually served in abundance as everyone brings in the best of the meals to be traditionally and collectively eaten. Dressing is also part of the ceremony as it greatly affected direct descendants. Most of them are believed to have tossed their rugged clothing to the rivers and initially adorned themselves with the clothing from their former masters. This custom is highly regarded as the Blacks remember the restrictions they had in dressings.

Presently, Juneteenth is highly regarded by communities and organizations alike all through the country[5]. Organizations such as the Smithsonian have sponsored, in the past, the celebrations as a strategy of promoting and cultivating knowledge of the African American background and culture. The day is presently celebrated by the African American descendants to commemorate the freedom and achievements of their people as well as foster personal development and respect for all cultures. Assuming a national and global symbol, the day is presently valued as it relates with the background of the African American in the Texans fertile soil[6]. The present generation celebrates, appreciates and respects the diverse differences in cultures and offers opportunities of collaborating by understanding the cultures.

 

 

Bibliography

Brown, M. Stacy. “Juneteenth Officially recognized in Maryland.” Baltimore Times. 2014, 1st

October, 2

Downs, Jim. Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction (1st Ed.). (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 64-102

National Registry. “History of the Juneteenth.” Juneteenth.com World Wide Celebration. 2016, 1-2

[1] Stacy Brown M. “Juneteenth Officially recognized in Maryland.” Baltimore Times. 2014, 1st

October, 2

[2] National Registry. “History of the Juneteenth.” Juneteenth.com World Wide Celebration. 2016, 1

[3] Jim Downs. Sick from Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction (1st Ed.). (New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 68

[5] National Registry. “History of the Juneteenth.” Juneteenth.com World Wide Celebration. 2016, 1