Saturday, June 19, 2021

Juneteenth, Our New National Holiday

"On June 19, 1865, in downtown Galveston, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order No. 3, which demanded 'absolute equality' among enslaved people and slaveholders." (source)
Today is a new official US National Holiday: Juneteenth, just passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Biden this week. It's been an official holiday in Texas since 1980, to celebrate the end of slavery there after the Civil War. This end came slowly: the Texas proclamation was June 19, 1865, while Lincoln issued the actual Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. 

June 19 soon became a meaningful day for Texans -- by 1872: "Celebrations reached new heights ... when a group of African-American ministers and businessmen in Houston purchased 10 acres of land and created Emancipation Park. The space was intended to hold the city’s annual Juneteenth celebration." (New York Times)

"High on the Hog," the recently-released Netflix series about Black food in America includes some very interesting food history associated with Juneteenth. Here are a few screen shots of the participants talking about this holiday in Epiode 4 of the series:

Jerrelle Guy, author of Black Girl Baking.

Member of a family that was involved in the
original Juneteenth.

Apple pie: part of the tradition.

Also cakes such as this red velvet cake and another 
red cake -- the color red is associated with the holiday.

Later in the episode: Texas Barbecue, including this intriguing
Ruben sandwich made with BBQ smoked brisket and turkey.

Of course "High on the Hog" covers a great deal of food history and traditions besides Juneteenth. It also celebrates Texas Barbecue, and many other foods like the cowboy stew cooked and served by Black cowboys, noting that around one in four cowboys in the Old West were Black -- though not in Hollywood! Host Stephan Satterfield interviewed many people in Episode 4. Especially interesting: eating barbecue with author Adrian Miller, whose new book Black Smoke explores African-American barbecue culture, and a dinner featuring cookbook expert Toni Tipton-Martin. I wrote about Tipton-Martin's latest book here, and I wrote about the first two episodes of "High on the Hog" recently here

I enjoyed all four episodes. I encourage you to watch as a way to learn about our new holiday, as well as to learn a lot about American cuisine. There will be many celebrations this year; for example, in Galveston, Texas, a new Juneteenth mural titled "Absolute Equality" was unveiled to celebrate this year's holiday:

-- From Houston Public Media

Blog post © 2021 mae sander.


Beth F said...

I enjoyed that series too.

Jackie McGuinness said...

It was wonderful to see this new holiday being proclaimed! I will look for the food series on Netflix.

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

I always enjoy your very informative posts. Very interesting information that I didn't know. thanks

DVArtist said...

Fabulous post. Thanks so much.

thecuecard said...

You make good points here ... and so glad we have a holiday marking the end of slavery ... so much left we can do

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! said...

I think there is much to learn, thank you.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I will definitely have a look at this series. Thanks for sharing!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I don't get Netflix, but I am glad you shared this. I read a statistic today that 24% of Americans had never heard of the new holiday and 38% knew very little about it, However, most blacks are well aware of the date and its significance. Thanks for calling this to others' attention.

Marg said...

I hadn't heard that there had been a new holiday proclaimed. This is very interesting.

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, wish I could. We have CNN, BBC and that´s it (well and the German channels).
We live behind a rock here.
Enjoy, and the sandwich looks truly mouth-watering!

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

Thank you for enlightening me as to the history of Emancipation Park. I had heard of it, but didn't know it's history.

Vicki said...

So happy about Juneteenth, it's a shame that it took so long to happen!

I'll have to check out that series!

I hope you have a great week!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

What a fascinating subject. I knew little about Juneteenth and here it began in my own backyard. I've passed by Emancipation Park and I knew nothing about it either.

And "one in four cowboys in the Old West were Black?" Wow. I didn't know that either.

I'd love to learn more about traditional Black foods. The series sounds very interesting to me.

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

Happy Juneteenth!

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

Juneteenth is a long time coming. So glad it is finally recognized. My Sunday Salon post is mostly about animals.