Juneteenth 2024

Traditional African dance and music performed for Juneteenth
(photo in public domain per Wikipedia)


In the past several years, there has been increased interest in a previously little-known holiday called Juneteenth.

Now, even certain California State employees are getting the day off, as a paid holiday, for it.

Here is some information about Juneteenth:

What is Juneteenth, America’s newest federal holiday?

June 18, 2024

Juneteenth marks the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans.

Long a regional holiday in the South, It became the newest U.S. federal holiday in 2021 under U.S. President Joe Biden.

:: June 17, 2021

BIDEN: “This is a day, in my view, of profound weight and profound power…” …

U.S. government employees have the day off from work.

So do workers at some private businesses.

Traditionally, Juneteenth celebrations include parades, marches and barbecues.

This year’s holiday is expected to take place during a heat wave in some parts of the country so officials are advising people to be careful.

Other events will strike a more somber tone, with organizers using the day to draw attention to today’s racial inequities they say stem from the legacy of slavery … https://www.yahoo.com/news/juneteenth-americas-newest-federal-holiday-231111048.html

June 17, 2023

So, what is Juneteenth all about?

When I first heard of Juneteenth, while working at a summer job during my college days, I presumed that since it had something to do with the end of slavery in the United States, it must have been the date the 13th Amendment — which ended legal slavery in the country — was ratified. Later, I was perplexed, as I read that the 13th Amendment was made part of the U.S. Constitution in December of 1865.

In reality, Juneteenth had very little to do with the end of legal slavery in America, so the question then became, Why celebrate it in June, rather than in December?

The answer seems to be, as it is with so much in today’s world — whether it be nominations to the Supreme Court, the names of sports teams, or even pictures on boxes of pancake mix — that politics is in play: Democrats want to pander to black voters, and Republicans are generally afraid to call them on it, fearing they will just be accused of being racists and “white supremacists.”

President Joe Biden signed into law the observation of “Juneteenth” (June 19) as an official holiday of the United States two days before the date in 2021, making 2022 the first year that the holiday was fully observed across the country.  https://thenewamerican.com/juneteenth-what-is-it-all-about/

June 19, 2022

Sam Roberts and his family are planning for Juneteenth, the newest U.S. holiday commemorating the 1865 emancipation of Black enslaved people at the end of the Civil War.

On Sunday, the Roberts family and other Americans will attend celebrations and observances. It’s part of a growing national recognition of a pivotal moment in U.S. history that’s been a part of the fabric of Black culture for generations.

“Juneteenth is our Freedom Day and African American communities have been celebrating June 19th for a long time,” said Roberts, a father of two from Washington, D.C. It’s the second national observance of the holiday since Congress authorized it and U.S. President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law last year.

“While July 4th is the celebration of freedom for the United States, Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom for African Americans after the Civil War,” said Jesse Holland, an author and Black historian.

The push for a Juneteenth federal holiday came amid the popularity of the Black Lives Matter movement and a year after nationwide protests against racism and police brutality. It followed the murder of African-American George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer in 2020. Since then, the annual celebration has taken on a new meaning for some in the Black community.

“Juneteenth reminds Black Americans we still face the challenges of hate and discrimination our ancestors endured,” Roberts said. “We have to redouble our quest for equality.”

Some historians believe greater awareness of Juneteenth will encourage forward leaning conversations among Americans about race relations and the legacies of slavery. …

“Not every African American in the United States are descendants of slaves, but for the large majority of us who are, Juneteenth is the time for us to take stock of who we are today, where we came from and the sacrifices our ancestors went through before and since the Civil War,” Holland told VOA.

Freedom declarations

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, a declaration following the end of the Civil War that legally freed more than three million enslaved Blacks in Confederate States. But not all slaves were free because the proclamation could not be implemented in parts of the southern United States.

To enforce the proclamation, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger marched into Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, to issue the “General Order Number 3,” which ended the enslavement of Blacks in Texas. The mandate freed an estimated 250,000 slaves two-and-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

“White Texans knew the Civil War was [over] and slavery was banned, but they didn’t tell their slaves the war was over for years [in order] to continue to get free labor out of them,” said Holland. “Juneteenth is when the lie ended and federal forces showed up to enforce the new federal law saying slavery was illegal in the United States.”

While Juneteenth is celebrated as the end of slavery, the practice of involuntary servitude continued briefly in the states of Delaware and Kentucky. On December 6, 1865, ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth awareness

The first events commemorating Juneteenth date to 1866, when former slaves celebrated their new freedom with prayer, feasting, song, and dance. The anniversary saw a decline in popularity in the 1950’s and 60’s as Black Americans focused on the civil rights movement and ending racial discrimination. Juneteenth saw a revival in the 1980’s when Texas became the first state to declare the date a state holiday. https://www.voanews.com/a/us-observes-juneteenth-national-holiday-/6621998.html

Racial discrimination is a problem in many societies.

Liberation from oppression is a good thing.

Whether an additional holiday will help is a matter of debate. The real solution is the Kingdom of God.

Notice that Juneteenth occurred in Galveston, Texas. As it turns out, that is the city that the Continuing Church of God has a contract with to have the Feast of Tabernacles (which portrays the millennial kingdom of God) in 2024 (see also Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2024).

Jesus came to proclaim that liberty:

1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,  (Isaiah 61:1-2)

God has a plan which will result in people of every nation and race being saved:

9…I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  (Revelation 7:9-10)

God has a plan where people of every nation will be able to rule:

9…You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.  (Revelation 5:9-10)

God has a plan where “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6):

21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved. (Acts 2:21)

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4).

God has a fantastic plan.

Whether or not you celebrate Juneteenth, pray for God’s Kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does? Watch also Mystery of Race.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here are links to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, Mystery of Race, and The Mystery of YOU. Here are links to two videos in Spanish: El Misterio del Plan de Dios and El Misterio de Satanás, el Misterio de la Verdad, el Misterio del Reposo.
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here are links to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to four related sermons:  The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!, The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

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