Wednesday is Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
The name is a combination of June and Nineteenth. It’s the day word got to slaves in Galveston that the war had ended, two years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
“So it took the ending of the Civil War and the sending of the actual national army into the state to say, ‘Hey listen, you’ve been freed,’ forcing the white slave owners to no longer practice and let the people go,” says Thompson.
There will be gatherings around the country for Juneteenth, including in Boise. State Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb says while the day is about black slavery, everyone is invited to take part.
“It’s one of those things as being part of the community, let’s get acquainted and get more aware of each other’s communities so that we can expand that dialogue we have,” says Buckner-Webb.
The Idaho Black History Museum currently has an exhibit about the history of Juneteenth.
Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio