Juneteenth more than a celebration - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Juneteenth more than a celebration

June 18, 2006

Albany - - Tomorrow, people all over the country will recognize Juneteenth - that's the day slaves in the south found out they were emancipated, even though slaves in the north were already living in their freedom.

Leaders in the Albany branch of the NAACP say it's something more people should be educated on.

Juneteenth is a day set aside every 19th day of June to remember the importance of ALL slaves receiving their freedom - even though President Lincoln made it official before southern slaves even knew about it.

"It was a thing where unfortunately, it was 2 and a half years late and about 400 million dollars short when they actually found out but who is to say if they had found out a year and a half earlier that anyone would've enforced this freedom?" says NAACP President William Wright.

The day is often celebrated with cultural events and entertainment, but Wright says people need to realize just what they're celebrating.

Freed slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule to help them begin their new lives, but shortly after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. President Andrew Johnson then rescinded that promise.

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