Juneteenth: A Time to Celebrate African American Freedom and Culture
June 19th – Juneteenth – marks the day in 1865 that Union General Gordon Granger delivered the message of freedom to enslaved African Americans in Texas. This news, first announced in Galveston Bay, arrived two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Learn more about this historic event and how it has been celebrated. Modern celebrations have become bigger than Texas, spreading nationwide!
In San Antonio, the celebration extends past June 19th. The San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum (SAAACAM) is hosting an open house on Saturday, June 22nd. Works from this year’s Black History Conference will be on display.
San Antonio and Bexar County’s African American community has a rich history that is being rapidly rediscovered and brought to public attention. In May, the Texas Historical Commission designated the Woolworth Building on Alamo Plaza as a State Antiquities Landmark. This building provides a prominent and visible link to San Antonio’s unique role the Civil Rights movement. Preserving the sites, as well as the memory, of these important events requires ongoing vigilance and commitment. Read more.
Even as we celebrate African American achievements, the Woolworth Building may be endangered by the Alamo Museum proposed for that site. The project architect, Machado Silvetti of Boston, has been selected, but the building’s fate remains undecided. Will it be reused as part of the new museum? Will the African-American struggle for equality be visually represented on Texas’s most famous plaza?