Albany, NY 12202-1804
JUNETEENTH 2022 IS ALMOST HERE
Join us and our partners to celebrate Juneteenth 2022 at Albany’s premier freedom festival on South Pearl Street! South Pearl Street will be closed from Madison Avenue to Morton Avenue with parking provided at the South End Grocery (106 South Pearl Street)
Juneteenth, short for June Nineteenth, is a day which commemorates the end of legalized slavery in the United States, and celebrates Black and African American freedom and achievements, while recognizing much more work must be done to achieve racial justice and equity in this country.
On June 19, 1865, Gordon Granger, a general in the army of the United States of America, arrived in Galveston, Texas, where enslaved Africans had been fighting against rebel forces, to read aloud General Order Number 3 stating that all enslaved people were free, and to maintain a presence in Texas to enforce emancipation among angry former enslavers through the state.
The Civil War had ended the previous April, after General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate troops to the Union’s Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
African American men and women were instrumental to the Union’s victory over the South!
During the Civil War, approximately 200,000 African Americans joined the Union forces to fight for their freedom and help save the Union. African American women worked as spies in the Civil War, served as army nurses, etc. The African Americans exceeded all expectations.
Of the African American soldiers, who had been disenfranchised and enslaved, Union General Benjamin Butler wrote “Better soldiers never shouldered a musket. I observed a very remarkable trait about them. They learned to handle arms and to march more easily than intelligent white men.”
In 1865, President Lincoln said, “without the military help of the black freedmen, the war against the south could not have been won.”
Indeed, the enslaved Africans were not spectators. They were heroes who fought to free themselves, and in so doing, helped save the Union.
The end of the barbaric institution of slavery that had blighted the lives of millions should be celebrated far and wide.
On Juneteenth, we also confront current issues including the wealth gap between Black and White Americans, housing discrimination, health disparities, overincarceration and underemployment of black and brown people, etc.
2021 is the first year that Juneteenth is an official public holiday in New York State.
For more information, please contact:
The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region
135 South Pearl Street Albany, NY 12202
(518) 279 6554