They didn’t have the internet, or even telephones, so it took years for some enslaved African Americans to learn they had been emancipated. Although President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that Major General Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, with 1800 federal troops, to inform workers in the field they had been set free.

Oregon and all but three other states have declared Juneteenth an official holiday. North and South Dakota and Hawaii are the exceptions. Elsewhere, celebrations are planned around the U.S.

The pressure is on in the wake of daily protests over the death of George Floyd, and other cases of police brutality, to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Kenya Evelyn sums up what you need to know about Juneteenth in this report for The Guardian newspaper.

Plenty of celebrations will be going on around Portland, including this live stream from Holocene with Friends of Noise presenting Wave Pro, Scooty and Timothy Bee, a benefit for Friends of Noise and Youth Power PDX.

Rebecca Webb
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