Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

June 18, 1949

On June 18, 1949, the Chicago Defender published a piece explaining Juneteenth. “It's Juneteenth in Texas," Hodee Edwards wrote. “To Texans, the word means liberation from slavery and the time for celebration; for on Juneteenth (June 19), 84 years ago, Union troops finally arrived in the state, assuring freedom for the oppressed.” Edwards, a white Marxist and feminist, spent several columns describing pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces in Texas from the 1830s through the 1860s (click to view article PDF).

The Los Angeles Sentinels Lin Hilburn also wrote about Juneteenth in 1975. “In rural East Texas where I spent my childhood, black children were taught black history as a matter of course,” Hilburn wrote. “We were singing the Negro National Anthem way back there and we recognized all of the famous black men and women who had contributed to our progress. We knew all about Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Phylis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Langston Hughes, etc...However, our one great holiday was ‘Juneteenth.’” Hilburn concluded by advising readers, “on this ‘Juneteenth,’ revel in the glory of your ancestors” (click to view article PDF).


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