On June 19th, 1865 General Gordon Granger and 2,000 federal troops arrived in Galveston, TX to enforce Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in the state of Texas. Lincoln did not live to see the day that slavery was abolished in every corner of our nation, but his legacy lives on even 146 years later here in Des Moines, where hundreds gathered on Saturday in Evelyn Davis Park to celebrate the anniversary of General Granger’s historic actions all those years ago.
Even though Juneteenth is celebrated in communities across the country, this gathering in Des Moines felt very local. It was more than just a remembrance of history and a celebration of freedom; it was a gathering of friends, families and neighbors. In other words, it was a community.
From the very beginning of Barack Obama’s adult life, he has shown a deep respect and abiding reverence for the power of communities, from his work as an organizer in Chicago to his first historic presidential campaign. Even now as he embarks on his next campaign, his 2012 campaign continues to emphasize the people that make up this movement, not the man that it is for. And that’s what our June 18th Day of Action was all about.Join staff and volunteers like Casey to celebrate the birth of our great nation at an upcoming July 4th Day of Action event near you!