"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|
|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.