We're celebrating Juneteenth!
The 19th of June, also known as Juneteenth, is a celebration of honoring the victory and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history.
One of the many steps that led everyone in the African American Community to achieve victory was when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on the 1st of January, 1863. He established a directive that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion "shall be, thenceforward, and forever free." But as fate would have it, it did not immediately free all enslaved people. According to historians, more than 3 million people were enslaved and deprived of rights and liberty in that same year.
On the 19th of June, 1865, two and a half years later, when the war came to a close, the Union soldiers led by General Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas. They proclaimed 250,000 enslaved people while standing on the balcony of the Confederate headquarters with the General Order #3 of the Emancipation Proclamation "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."
Hearing this, many people walked down the road cheering with unrestrained glee. The words quickly spread, and Juneteenth became more prominent and more resonant. It didn't only represent the end of slavery during 1865; it has since become another venue to fight for rights and represents the strength and resiliency of the Black community.
Recognized and celebrated by 47 states, the Juneteenth celebration includes cookouts, lectures, family reunions, street fairs, presentations of black heritage, and rodeos. Red drinks and red food became a staple in the celebration as it symbolizes the labor, bondage, and bravery of the slaved.
Juneteenth was the first day that every citizen was legally free, and celebrating it allows us to honor and remember our history and roots as we continue to establish and move toward a future with absolute equality of rights and value.
Here at Brooklyn Brewed Sorrel, we're honored to be celebrating Juneteenth with you and share our rich hibiscus spiced drink that plays a significant role in carrying forth Juneteenth celebration traditions. Honor liberation and strength through enjoying our traditional sorrel drink. Brooklyn Brewed Sorrel is a drink who's recipe survived the trans-atlantic slave trade.
Photo from: Emancipation Park Conservancy