What is Juntinth to all Americans?

As the nation celebrates the holiday called Juntinth, it is natural for the overall American experience to reflect on the African-American experience and the ongoing struggle. This is evidenced by the fact that even ex-slaves have a juntinth to celebrate as a separate Independence Day. For those who are still somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of Juntinth, there is probably a brief history. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation ordering that all persons held captive within the state for rebellion against the Union be released by executive order. In many places across the South, Union troops advanced through cities and plantations and now spread the word of public freedom to the enslaved people. It was a wonderful feeling, certainly providing a sense of excitement for African-Americans – free and enslaved – to gather in churches and private homes across America for Watch Night service, where they waited for the news of the announcement. In reality, though, Lincoln’s decree was slightly higher than that of Lazardemen and the political theater.

The order only freed slaves in the states that had seceded from the union, while slavery was still practiced in the frontier states loyal to the union. In addition, it provides exemptions for Confederate states that were already under Union control. Of course, the freedom of those slaves under the Confederacy depended entirely on the military victory of the North. Enter Texas. Due to a fairly effective blockade, the westernmost state of the Confederacy would not come under Union control until June 1865. Slave owners in Texas knew about Lincoln’s decree; Not only do they bother to say their chat, lest they become restless and difficult to control. On the nineteenth of the month, about 2,000 Union troops under the brigadier commander. General Gordon Granger traveled to Galveston. From the porch of the former Texas Confederate headquarters, Granger reported that about 250,000 souls had now been released. Even the most casual student of American history knows that the ghost of slavery did not really go away until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed. But in the African-American community – especially in the South – celebrating June 19 has become a tradition, of course, abbreviated to Juntinthe.

It should be clear now why Juntinth is important to blacks in America, but why is it important to everyone else? The great extinctionist, writer and orator Frederick Douglas once asked the same question about the value of Independence Day to captives in the sense of slavery. On July 5, 1852, at a meeting of the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society, gathered at the Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York, Douglas gave his now-famous speech, “What about the fourth July slave?” In it, he praised the courage and wisdom of those who risked their lives to gain independence from their British masters, noting that although it was not the highest quality, it was a rare and admirable one. However, Douglas could not help but notice that the benefits of these qualities did not extend to his type:

What do I or those I represent have to do with your national independence? Fellow citizens, forgive me, allow me to ask, why am I being called here today? What do I or those I represent have to do with your national independence … the blessings that you, these days, rejoice in, are not generally enjoyed. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and liberty, bestowed by your fathers, you have shared, not by me.

Douglas did not flinch at the freedom enjoyed by the beneficiaries of divorce from the British Empire. As an exiled slave, he enjoyed much of that freedom, if not more. Yet, in this nation, the idea of ​​freedom is clearly articulated and dedicated to the fact that all human beings are created equal, “millions of mournful cries” cried out against their slavery. For those who did not have the freedom to celebrate, the celebration of freedom was meaningless. Of course, there were some slaves who achieved a level of success and freedom. At the beginning of the War of 1812, Kentucky slave Frank McWarther exercised the freedom of “hiring” and allowed to keep a portion of his wages to build a saltpeter factory. Because of that particular war, McWarther transformed the factory into a gunpowder factory, enabling him to purchase his wife’s independence in 1817 and his own in 1819.

This, of course, was not the experience of the majority of slaves and this is why Juntinth is important. In the post-Civil War reorganization era, the Thirteenth Amendment allowed African-Americans to vote, own property, find office, use public housing, or otherwise enjoy the benefits of fully voting citizens. If not an aboriginal, (and, to a large extent, a woman) this nation was closest to respecting the proposition that all men were created equal. Yet, when the restructuring was complete, many independent states, especially in the South, feared for the political and economic gain of former slaves and their relatives, and passed prohibitive laws such as the Jim Crow Act, which reduced blacks to second-class citizens. . Again, the promise of equality for all was broken, and that’s why the Juntinth thing.

There is no need to give a complete history of the African-American experience between June 19, 1865 and the present. Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to painting a picture about ourselves. Recently, I had the opportunity to review an excellent book by Rachel Ferguson and Marcus Witcher, Black release through Marketplace. One of the points they made was that the history of blacks in America is so different from that of the majority that it is almost impossible to fit into the political culture of our country. I agree with that assessment, and yet we are all Americans. My relatives are still alive who tell the story of living under the light of isolation. And when the 1964 Civil Rights Act came to an end Judgment Isolation in the United States, Actually Isolation remains.

For example, public schools in my home state of Florida were not integrated until 1970. Five years later I was born very low. I remember cousins ​​a decade or older who first entered the classroom with new classmates who didn’t look like them. This is why juntinth is important. It is accepted among classical liberal thinkers that although we may differ in talent, ability and motivation, we are all innately entitled to certain natural rights that should be equally protected for all. Of course I agree with that, but historically, America has not. It was only in 1967 Loving vs. Virginia It has given the right to marry mixed caste couples without government intervention. The right to love someone you want to love was denied until just 55 years ago, which is eight years longer than my survival. This is why juntinth is important.

Still, African-Americans are almost seven times more likely to go to the police on suspicion of a crime, six times more likely to be arrested, and seven times more likely to be convicted. Some may be willing to be biased, and there may be arguments about the role of personal choice versus public policy, but only for a different time and place. What is relevant here is that the cost is not borne by the African-American community, as the Institute for Advanced Justice Research and Innovation estimates that the cursal state imposes an overall burden of more than $ 1 trillion a year on taxpayers. Again, this is why juntinth is important, and not just for me and my fellow African-Americans.

America is a promise that has not yet been fulfilled. As July 4 commemorates the beginning of that promise, Juntinth remembers the rest of the work still to be done, reminding us all that we still have many miles to go before we go to sleep. Douglas would no doubt agree, as he is now observing:

The distant and almost imaginary Pacific Ocean rolls majestically at our feet. The cosmic empire, the mystery of the age, is being solved. The Fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be light” has not yet expended its energy. Any abuse, any annoying taste, sport or greed, can now hide itself from the omnipresent light.

This is, to all Americans, Juntinth.

Turnell Brown

Turnell Brown is an Atlanta-based economist and public policy analyst.

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