Juneteenth Freedom Day

Over 200 cities in 49 states

And the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth

Either as a state or ceremonial holiday, or a day of observation

And activists are pushing Congress

To recognize June 19th as a national holiday

On June 19th, 1865 General Robert Granger

Issued a proclamation notifying black slaves

That they were free in Texas

This “Juneteenth Jamboree” grew in stature

And in many states it has become mainstream

The Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution

Has an exhibition Juneteenth ’91, Freedom Revisited

Reading of the works of African American novelists

Like Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou are popular

And singing of traditional songs like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

And “Lift Every Voice and Sing” are sung at ceremonial gatherings

Celebrations on “Jubilee Day” include picnics, rodeos, and cookouts

Families have reunions, park parties,

Attend blues festivals

And there’s a Miss Juneteenth contest

But all revelers never forget to have a Strawberry soda –

The drink associated with these festivities

And for the more serious minded

There are lectures, exhibitions of African American culture

Accompanied by a voter registration drive

But to top it all everyone should participate in a barbecue cookout

The centerpiece of most Juneteenth celebrations

“Divine Providence, bless these Juneteenth festivities on this notable day of remembrance when African Americans began enjoying the fruits of their freedom.”    

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