Category Archives: Slavery

Juneteenth

 

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Juneteenth celebration is today, honoring when chattel slavery was finally ended in all former Confederate states. The Union Major General Gordon Granger landed in Texas, the last slaver state bastion, on June 19, 1865 with enough military power to finally enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. The Republic and then annexed State of Texas was already established in large part as a militant pro-slavery revolt against the Mexican empire’s ban on slavery, but as the luck of the Confederacy dwindled during the war, slavers had further migrated to Texas. Fully a quarter of whites held slaves by the time Granger landed, and 30% of the population were slaves. Chattel slavery would not be formally ended nationally until the 13th Amendment was ratified in December. Also, the re-creation in informal slavery through the Black Codes, debt bondage, and punitive sharecropping immediately after the Civil War, and then Jim Crow laws after the end of Reconstruction further retrenched white supremacy. Yet, Juneteenth is an important holiday commemorating a rare moment of victory, however incomplete, in the dismantling of the system of racial dominance and inequality that has defined the character of the United States and citizenship within it since its creation.

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Filed under American Civil War, Juneteenth, Race, Slavery