Activists have succeeded in pushing Congress
To recognize June 19th as a national holiday
On June 19th, 1865 General Robert Granger
Issued a proclamation notifying black slaves
In Texas they were free.
This “Juneteenth Jamboree” grew in stature
And in many states it has become mainstream.
The Anacostia Museum of the Smithsonian Institution
Has had an exhibition about Juneteenth.
Reading of the works of African American novelists
Like Ralph Ellison, and Maya Angelou are popular.
Singing of traditional songs like “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,”
And “Lift Every Voice and Sing” are sung at such gatherings.
Celebrations on “Jubilee Day” are picnics, rodeos, and cookouts.
Families celebrate reunions, park parties,
Attend blues festivals,
And there’s a Miss Juneteenth contest.
But 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.
To top it all, everyone should be part of a barbecue cookout,
The centerpiece of most Juneteenth celebrations.
“God, on this day of remembrance bless these Juneteenth festivities when African Americans began their fruits of freedom.”