Beacon’s Juneteenth Festival a chance to spread messages of racial progress

Vendors were out in full force Monday during Beacon’s Juneteenth Festival – some saying they saw an uptick in sales of items with messages about history, racial progress and kindness.

News 12 Staff

Jun 19, 2023, 9:51 PM

Updated 306 days ago

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Vendors were out in full force Monday during Beacon’s Juneteenth Festival – some saying they saw an uptick in sales of items with messages about history, racial progress and kindness.
News 12’s Ben Nandy spoke with Anne Marie Crooks, of We Got The Juice restaurant and art gallery in Kingston, and Gina Samardge, of Compass Arts, about this year’s festival.
Juneteenth became a national holiday in 2021. The original celebrations began with enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. Although President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in 1863, it could not be enforced in many places in the South until the Civil War ended in 1865. Even then, some white people who had profited from their unpaid labor were reluctant to share the news.
News that the war had ended and that enslaved people were free finally reached Galveston when Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his troops arrived in the Gulf Coast city on June 19, 1865, more than two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia.
Granger delivered General Order No. 3, which said: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”
AP Wire Services contributed to this report.


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