Happy Juneteenth!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Juneteenth is a holiday that doesn’t get the recognition or celebration it deserves. We celebrate the Emancipation Proclamation as when enslaved African Americans were freed in the United States. But the road there was a lot more complicated—emancipation took years to happen. Juneteenth is the day we celebrate the true end of slavery in the US, or at least the day the last of the slaves in the country were told that they were free, which came more than two and¬ a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. This Juneteenth, we wanted to take the time to introduce the holiday to those who may not be as familiar with it.

On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on January 1, 1863. This was one of the most important moments in our nation’s history, but despite what we may have learned in school, this wasn’t the end of slavery. Particularly in states still in rebellion, the only freedom was in escaping to the Union, a tremendously dangerous journey. It wasn’t until the end of the Civil War that the Confederate states were forced to comply with the newly ratified Thirteenth Amendment (which was passed in January of 1865, but didn’t go into effect until December of that year). Even then, the news traveled slowly, and some states refused to even tell slaves that they were free. It wasn’t until Texas, the last holdout, finally complied that the slavery in the United States of the time came to an end (though modern-day slavery that disproportionally targets Black people still exists through our prison system and laws that allow it as punishment for crimes). On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger issued the following order to the people of Texas:

“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. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

—General Order No. 3; Galveston Texas, June 19, 1865
https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/juneteenth.html

Growing up outside the Black community, I was taught that the Emancipation Proclamation was the end of slavery. It wasn’t. It’s easy for many of us to think that emancipation happened quickly and easily. It didn’t. It took over two and half years after the proclamation for the enslaved people of Texas to be freed—and to this day, we are still struggling with the horrific legacy of slavery, and the treatment of the Black community is far from equal. This second—and in my opinion the true, Independence Day—should always have been a major national holiday. It is one of the most important days in our history, yet we as a nation have mostly, predictably, either forgotten or refused to celebrate it. Thankfully, that’s slowly starting to change. Today, 47 states have recognized Juneteenth as a state holiday or day of remembrance. But it has yet to become a major national holiday.

If you’d like to read more about Juneteenth, check out these links:

Paizo has joined several other companies in the Fight for Racial Justice Humble Bundle, 100% of whose sales go to charities working toward racial justice. You can adjust your contribution to any combination you’d like of Race Forward (https://www.raceforward.org/), The Bail Project (https://bailproject.org/), and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (https://www.naacpldf.org/). You can find the Humble Bundle here: https://www.humblebundle.com/fight-for-racial-justice-bundle

Diego Valdez
Customer Service Representative

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Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

17 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for taking the time and initiative to put this blog together, Diego! And happy Juneteenth to everyone who celebrates it.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

As a UK resident who (shamefully) knew nothing of Juneteenth until a couple of weeks ago, this blog is great to see. Many thanks for educating me further and, as Mark has said, happy Juneteenth to all who celebrate it.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Huzzah!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I saw Juneteenth on my calendar this week and was puzzled. I couldn't remember hearing about it before. Great explanation and great blog post; I appreciate it.

Verdant Wheel

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Hahaha. I am black and 22 September is my birthday, I am not American through, in my country slavery ended a lot later.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Powerful post. Thank you Deigo.I had never heard of Juneteenth before last week. Which is sad...

Grand Lodge

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Some really cool news today about this as well. The original Juneteenth orders were found in the National Archives. https://www.boston.com/news/history/2020/06/18/original-juneteenth-order-fo und-in-national-archives

This also might become a federal holiday next year. Just depends on whether not intelligence and common sense win at the polls in November.


Very well said!

Thanks for posting this!

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for posting this. The gaming table should be a welcoming place for all.

Two of my DMs here in the Northwest Indiana lodge are GMs. (They are also a married couple.)

Grand Archive

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This was a very interesting history lesson! Thanks Diego!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

And it is call 'Juneteenth' as a portmanteau of June Nineteenth, the date of Gen. Order No. 3. I think etymology is always interesting!

Happy Juneteenth USA :)


Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game Subscriber

Thanks for this!


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Xathos of Varisia wrote:

Some really cool news today about this as well. The original Juneteenth orders were found in the National Archives. https://www.boston.com/news/history/2020/06/18/original-juneteenth-order-fo und-in-national-archives

This also might become a federal holiday next year. Just depends on whether not intelligence and common sense win at the polls in November.

Linkified for your convenience.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I didn't know anything about Juneteenth but I hope this year will mark more and more progress for Blacks and other minorities fighting against an international system that has become a fascist kakistocracy with no regards for anyone who isn't a white cis male. Black Lives Matter.

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