Posted on June 19, 2019

Celebrating Freedom and Independence on Juneteenth and Every Day 

June 19, better known as ‚ÄúJuneteenth,‚ÄĚ is the official commemorative celebration of the ending of slavery in Texas. In 1865, Union Major-General Gordon Grander read aloud General Order Number 3 in Galveston, Texas. Two and a half years after the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation and after the ending of the Civil War, the state of Texas had finally received news of the abolition of slavery in the United States. Though the reading of the proclamation brought great relief to those who heard the news, many enslavers in Texas and throughout the south did not free enslaved people immediately and forced them to continue working illegally. The abolition of slavery was not an overnight liberation.¬†

In the United States today, 46 of the 50 states recognize Juneteenth or ‚ÄúEmancipation Day‚ÄĚ as an American holiday. Primarily celebrated by African Americans across the country, Juneteenth‚Äôs roots began in Texas. In 1872, a group of former enslaved people came together to purchase land in modern-day Houston, which they named Emancipation Park. They purchased Emancipation Park for the sole purpose of having a location dedicated to the celebration of Juneteenth every year, and the park still stands today.¬†

Juneteenth celebrations today consist of community-wide festivals, parades, cookouts, ceremonies, public speakers, pageants, and more. Dubbed ‚ÄúThe Black Independence Day‚ÄĚ, June 19th and the weekends surrounding it are always an exciting time for the African American community to celebrate hope, continued independence, and freedom in the United States. Many black communities come together during this time to celebrate those who have paved the way in the past, and those who are paving the way for the future. This is a great way for families and children to see all the progress that has been made over the years, and that there are people who continue to promote positive, effective, change in the African American community every day.¬†

In the spirit of Juneteenth, here at Denton County Friends of the Family we continue to promote and celebrate independence and freedom amongst our clients every day. Providing compassionate, comprehensive services to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, we continue to work with the community to promote safety, hope, healing, justice and prevention. 

Here at Friends of the Family the Our Community Matters Program, OCM, is focused on engaging the African American community and bringing increased awareness to the resources available for victims of domestic violence.  Statistically, African American women are 35% more likely to experience domestic violence than women of other races. Cassandra Berry is the coordinator of the Our Community Matters program at Friends of the Family. Want to learn more about the OCM program? Check it out at dcfof.org/ocm. 

Thank you to our guest blogger:
-DeAundra Moore 
Transitional Housing Intern 

Denton County Friends of the Family is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with our community to promote safety, hope, healing, justice, and prevention. If you or someone you know is in need of support and resources please connect with our 24-Hour Crisis Line at 800-572-4031

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