Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Juneteenth!

Today is Juneteenth. I remember when we lived in Philadelphia, the HUGE celebration every June, comemerating the holiday, Juneteenth. I had never heard of this holiday before. In case you haven't heard of it, June 19th, 1865 is the date that Union General Gordon Granger landed in Galviston, TX, and announced that former slaves were now free.

Philadelphia has a much larger black population than San Francisco, something like 50%. So the Juneteenth celebration there is much larger than it is in S.F. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that it used to go down Fillmore Street, which was very close to our Japantown apartment...we just didn't know about it. It's one thing to not know of all of the various holidays of our immigrant cultures, but to not know of a holiday marking the end of our most shameful practice, slavery? Astonishing. However, this celebration rarely makes the front page or brings a lot of tourists to town, so I suppose it isn't all that surprising. If you'd like to learn more about Juneteenth, you can do so, here.

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