Richmond Celebrates Juneteenth
On Saturday, June 18th, the Richmond community came together to celebrate Juneteenth. Our city’s annual parade and festival, always well-attended by Richmond residents and the wider Bay Area community, hasn’t taken place since the pandemic began in 2020. While President Biden only designated Juneteenth as a federal holiday last year, the return of Richmond’s festivities marks over two decades of celebrating the holiday in Richmond.
Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 that over 250,000 enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, learned they had been freed by an executive order. 2,000 Union troops marched into the western portion of previously-Confederate-controlled Texas and announced the news, over two years after the Emancipation Declaration had been signed by Abraham Lincoln. The devastating delay in liberation was caused, in no small part, by plantation owners consciously relocating to Texas to escape abolition and the reach of the Union Army. For further reading, Historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. provides an excellent overview of the meaning of Juneteenth in his essay, “What is Juneteenth?”, which can be found here.
Below is a video by Tony Tamayo, capturing the event and the participation of RPA members in the celebration.