In preparation for our event on Juneteenth, Jazzmin Dian Moore has recorded this video explaining some of the historical significance of Juneteenth as well as introducing the Mandela in Chicago documentary we will be discussing.
More about Juneteenth
Juneteenth is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day. It celebrates the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the US.
On June 19, 1865, General Order No. 3 by Union Army general Gordon Granger announced the complete and final end of slavery in Texas.
Slavery had been ended in all states when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862. However, enforcement of the Proclamation largely depended on the presence of Union troops. Since Texas was the most remote "slave state," there was a low presence of Union troops and enforcement was lax until Granger's announcement.
Celebration of Juneteenth started in 1866 among church-centered communities in Texas. The holiday spread across the South throughout the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1970s, Juneteenth gained in popularity with a focus on African American freedom and arts. Today, Juneteenth is celebrated in most major cities throughout the US and activists are campaigning to make it a national holiday.
April 12, 1861: Civil War begins
September 22, 1862: Emancipation Proclamation
April 9, 1865: Civil War ends
June 19, 1865: General Order No. 3 ends slavery in Texas
More about Mandela in Chicago
The Free South Africa movement began in 1984 as an organization that campaigned against apartheid in South Africa. It was started after TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson and several other activists were arrested for refusing to leave the South African embassy. Chicago activists organized a local branch of the Free South Africa movement and contributed to the nationwide efforts to end apartheid.
Free South Africa activists in Chicago played a major role in putting pressure on South African, Illinois, and Chicago governments to end their support of apartheid. Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 and he visited Chicago in 1993, before being elected president of South Africa in 1994.
You can watch the documentary for free via PBS.
More about the Together is Better Alliance
TiBA works to promote reconciliation and recovery through:
- Facilitating screenings of documentaries and other films and relevant information related to the history of slavery and racial inequality
- Conducting continuing conversation series in collaboration with educational, civil, faith-based, corporate, and other institutions committed to addressing the challenges of race in the US
- Continued development of strategic relationships with a broad range of individuals and organizations committed to addressing the issue of race relations
- Expanding and raising awareness around the issues of racism that exist in the US through a variety of strategies, including creating a presence in several locations across the US to perform the described activities, launching a lecture series with learned speakers on the issue of racism and its societal impact, and conducting educational tours to historically significant sites, museums, institutions, etc.
July 8 - Chicago: DuSable Museum
July 9 - Montgomery: Equal Justice Initiative
July 12 - Montgomery: Southern Poverty Law Center
July 14: Panel discussions with TiBA partners and Board members engaged in dismantling systemic racism