Connect with us

Arts and Culture

News of Freedom Gets to Texas Two Years Late, Giving Rise to Juneteenth

Published

on

“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…”

Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, delivering this order on June 19, 1865. Unbeknownst to him, he was establishing the basis for the holiday, Juneteenth (June plus nineteenth), today an annual celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States. This order, however, came two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official January 1, 1863.

Several theories as to why the news traveled so slowly have been passed down through the years: A messenger was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. The news was deliberately withheld by the owners to maintain the labor force on the plantations. Federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation.

Reactions from the enslaved people on hearing the news ranged from pure shock to immediate joy, as leaving the plantation would be their first taste of freedom. Most had no interest in staying with the people who had enslaved them, even if pay was involved. Some were leaving before Granger had finished making the announcement. What followed was called “the scatter.”

For droves of enslaved people, the North became the destination. Others longed to locate family members in the neighboring states of Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Before freedom came,  legally freed slaves were beaten, lynched or murdered if  attempted to leave. “They would catch [freed slaves] swimming across [the] Sabine River and shoot them,” Susan Merritt, a former slave, recalled.

Despite the terror and violence, the newly freed Black men and women of Texas transformed June 19 from a day of unheeded military orders into their own annual celebration: Juneteenth. This began one year later, in 1866. But segregation laws impeded such an occasion.

There were no public places or parks where blacks could host celebrations. So in the 1870s, the former slaves, for $800, purchased the 10-acre Emancipation Park. It was the only public park and swimming pool in the Houston, Texas, area open to African Americans until the 1950s.

Juneteenth celebrations waned under Jim Crow laws re-emerging with the civil rights movement of the 1960swhen the 1968 Poor People’s March planned by Martin Luther King Jr. was purposely scheduled to coincide with the date. The march brought Juneteenth back to the forefront. In 1980, Texas became the first state to deem Juneteenth worthy of statewide recognition.

In Southern states, Juneteenth is celebrated with oral histories and readings, red soda water or strawberry soda, and barbecues. Some states serve Marcus Garvey salad (red, green, and black beans). Rodeos have also become part of the tradition in the Southwest.

Activism

Oakland Mural- Zero Hunger

Six murals, curated by SAM, are aimed at raising awareness and mobilizing support to combat rising U.S. and global food insecurity, especially in the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic.

Avatar

Published

on

Tallest Mural of Oakland spotlights the U.S. and global food insecurity and injustice in support of the United Nations World Food Programme’s mission to end global hunger. Photo credit: @StreetArtMankind #ZeroHungerMurals About Street Art for Mankind.
Oakland, CA (April 5, 2021) – World Food Program USA, in support of the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is teaming up with Street Art for Mankind (SAM) and Kellogg Company to create a series of murals around the United States dedicated to “Zero Hunger,” the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG2). Six murals, curated by SAM, are aimed at raising awareness and mobilizing support to combat rising U.S. and global food insecurity, especially in the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic. The first large mural was created by artists Axel Void and Reginald O’Neal in New Orleans, Louisiana, in February. The second mural, created in downtown Houston by artist Dragon76 on the Hampton Inn by Hilton In March, is now the biggest mural of the city with its 13,000 square feet. The third one will be completed by Thursday, April 15th in Oakland on the Marriott City Center 21-story wall by the International artist Victor Ash. When finished, it will be the tallest mural in Oakland. More murals will be created in Washington, DC, Detroit, and Battle Creek, Mich. “At this critical time in the COVID-19 pandemic, we are thankful to our partners for helping to raise the visibility of food insecurity both globally and domestically as well as activate citizens to mobilize around this important issue. While our programs feed people living on less than $2 a day in the most impoverished countries, we understand the severity of the American hunger crisis and support the efforts of both non-profits and corporate partners to feed those in need” said Barron Segar, president, and CEO, World Food Program USA. We are facing the greatest hunger crisis of our time. Hunger is on the rise, with more than a quarter of a billion people marching toward starvation. In fact, famine is looming in four countries: Yemen, South Sudan, Burkina Faso, and northeast Nigeria. It is only the U.N. World Food Programme intervention supporting national governments and partners that has so far prevented famine. The U.N. World Food Programme has launched the biggest operation in its nearly 60-year history, with plans to feed up to 138 million people this year.
The United States has been hit with an unprecedented hunger crisis as well, as the pandemic’s fallout triggers unemployment, income loss, and widespread food insecurity. According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture1 , African-Americans are twice as likely to face hunger as non-Hispanic, Caucasian households. To give back to local minority communities, Kellogg Company is donating cash to support local food justice programs in each of the six cities. “To raise further awareness about the importance of food justice, Kellogg is making a $10,000 donation to organizations in each of the six communities that are working to provide sustainable and equitable access to food,” said Stephanie Slingerland, Kellogg’s Senior Director of Philanthropy & Social Impact. Kellogg has long been committed to addressing food insecurity in North America – and across the globe — through its Better Days purpose platform, through which we’ve donated 2.4 billion servings of food worldwide.” The mural series is a continuity of the “Zero Hunger” mural created in New York for the United Nation’s 75th anniversary. Visitors to the murals can use Street Art for Mankind’s free “Behind the Wall” app to scan or photograph the mural, instantly accessing more details about the mural, the hunger crisis, and how to take action globally and locally. 1 USDA, Economic Research Service, Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement, Jernigan et al. (2017) “We are honored to expand our Zero Hunger series around the United States with the World Food Program USA and Kellogg. We hope our gigantic murals, created by an incredibly diverse group of talented street artists, will inspire the public to reflect on the current situation and do their share to support the fight against hunger within their communities and beyond.
Together we can see bigger and create a hunger-free world,” said Audrey and Thibault Decker, Co-founders of Street Art for Mankind. Mural Pictures https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pg8kus6la6e2bgz/AAA3VCk-s5wFhQS9ZDXE6-9ma?dl=0 The link is updated every day with new pictures. Photo credit: @StreetArtMankind #ZeroHungerMurals About Street Art for Mankind (SAM) SAM is a 501c(3), non-profit organization working with prominent street artists from all around the world to raise awareness on SDG’s and child trafficking through the power of art. SAM has collaborated with the United Nations since 2017. This new “Zero Hunger” series is a continuity of the “Zero Hunger” mural created for the 75th anniversary of the UN at the UN General Assembly in New York. For more information about SAM Mural in Oakland contact us at:
 Email – Audrey Decker: adecker@streetartmankind.org
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter #ZeroHungerMurals About World Food Program USA , The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability, and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change. World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC, proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit wfpusa.org/about-us. About Kellogg Company: At Kellogg Company, we strive to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. Our beloved brands include Pringles®, Cheez-It®, Special K®, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats®, Kashi®, RXBAR®, MorningStar Farms® and more. Kellogg brands are beloved in markets around the world. We are also a company with Heart & Soul, committed to creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030 through our Kellogg’s® Better Days global purpose platform.
About Kellogg Company: At Kellogg Company, we strive to enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter. Our beloved brands include Pringles®, Cheez-It®, Special K®, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes®, Pop-Tarts®, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®, Rice Krispies®, Eggo®, Mini-Wheats®, Kashi®, RXBAR®, MorningStar Farms® and more. Kellogg brands are beloved in markets around the world. We are also a company with Heart & Soul, committed to creating Better Days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030 through our Kellogg’s® Better Days global purpose platform. Visit www.KelloggCompany.com or www.OpenforBreakfast.com

Continue Reading

Activism

Miko Marks:  Oakland’s Country Music Star

Her first country music memory growing up was of Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter”.  She adds that Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It” was her mother’s anthem.

Avatar

Published

on

By

Miko Marks. Photo by Beto Lopez, Mooncricket Films.

Miko Marks, 48, released her third album, “Our Country” in March.

The virtual release party was free, and donations were encouraged to benefit The Center for Hope in Flint, Michigan where Marks grew up.

Marks told ABC 7 News that “Our Country” was about “ . . . healing, social justice, prayer, system racism, marginalization, and it’s about hope to change.”

It has been 14 years since her last album release.  Her previous albums were “Freeway Bound” in 2005 and “It Feels Good” in 2007.

Marks co-wrote six of the eight songs on “Our Country”.

Her first country music memory growing up was of Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter”.  She adds that Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It” was her mother’s anthem.

According to SongData, “ . . . between 2002-2020, there were 11,484 unique songs played on country radio.  In those 19 years, there were only 13 Black artists among those songs, and only three Black women.  In total, songs by Black women received 0.03% of radio airplay.”

The Pointer Sisters in 1974 with “Fairytale,” also Oakland based,  and Mickey Guyton in 2021 with “Black Like Me’ are the only Black women to be nominated in a country category in the Grammy awards.

Marks spent time in Nashville where she heard “you won’t sell” without explanation, and she understood that was code for Blacks don’t sell in Country music.   She moved to  Oakland and was excited to collaborate with Redtone Records in Palo Alto to record.

Marks notes that country music has its roots in Black music and the banjo is from the African continent.

Marks gives shout outs to the other Black women in country music:  Linda Martell, Jo Anna Neel, Ruby Falls, and Rissa Palmer.  Palmer, Reyna Roberts, Brittney Spencer, and Mickey Guyton joined Marks in a round-table discussion of Black women in country music published in the New York Times during Women’s History Month this year.

“Oakland has been a refuge of community for me. The people, the arts and the culture helped shape me as an artist.  It has allowed me to weave to into the fabric of country music my influences that extend outside the genre.

“The Oakland Post has been a foundation for the community and highlighting the arts.” Marks told The Oakland Post,

For more information go to MikoMarks.com

Wikipedia, The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Times were sources for this story.

Continue Reading

African American News & Issues

Books on Black Heroes and History Appeal to Children, Adults Alike

Authors Deborah Riley Draper and Travis Thrasher walk readers through their turbulent journey in “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice: The Untold Story of 18 African Americans Who Defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to Compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” Among these athletes are John Brooks, David Albritton, and Jessie Owens. These 18 African Americans, according to Draper, “challenged discrimination on the world stage…. The unprecedented effort is largely known, and their stories are largely forgotten.” 

Avatar

Published

on

Little ones will love turning the pages of “The ABCs of Black History,” a book filled with lively verse and colorful faces (illustrations by Lauren Summer) in all shades of brown—just like theirs!

Author Rio Cortez also scrolls the alphabet letter by letter giving lessons in important words, words that our children need to not only hear every day but know and live: A is for the anthem; B is for beautiful, brave, bright, bold; C is for the community, church, civil rights … and more.

Layers of history will unfold like the pages of this accessible resource are turned. An education in pride is definitely offered in this one.

The history of Black people in America has been turbulent. The pain, sorrow, grief, and daily life are documented through song and poetry in a book edited by Kevin Young  called “African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song.” It is said to be the “most ambitious anthology of Black poetry ever published, gathering 250 poets from the colonial period to the present.”

Organized in eight sections, readers can explore works by Wheatley, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Countee Cullen, Gwendolyn B. Bennett, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and Anne Spencer. No style or poet has been ignored in this robust collection. 

Youth and adults alike will feel the soul of the history in this collection.

Despite the exclusionary practices of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, countries worldwide, including the US, agreed to participate. That year, 16 Black men and two Black women defying the racism of both Nazi Germany and the Jim Crow South traveled to Berlin to represent America. They were dubbed “the Black auxiliary.”

Authors Deborah Riley Draper and Travis Thrasher walk readers through their turbulent journey in “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice: The Untold Story of 18 African Americans Who Defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to Compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.” Among these athletes are John Brooks, David Albritton, and Jessie Owens. These 18 African Americans, according to Draper, “challenged discrimination on the world stage…. The unprecedented effort is largely known, and their stories are largely forgotten.” 

Explore one of the hidden gems of American history in James Otis Smith’s graphic novel “Black Heroes of the Wild West.” Throughout the colorfully illustrated pages, readers follow three Black heroes as they take control of their destinies and stand up for their communities in the Old West. 

Young readers will come face to face with the likes of Stagecoach Mary, who carried a rifle and a revolver as she met trains with mail, then drove her stagecoach over rocky, rough roads and through snow and inclement weather; law enforcement officer Bass Reeves, the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River; and Texas cowboy Bob Lemmons, who said: “I grew up with the mustangs … I acted like I was a mustang … made them think I was one of them.” 

Continue Reading

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending