WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Around this time of year many Americans celebrate independence, but several African Americans don’t believe the same freedom was granted in 1776.
“Well it’s a weird dichotomy because there was a big war over freedom and independence, but meanwhile all these same freedom fighters were holding slaves,” said local business owner, Chad Smith.
June 19, which is also known for “Juneteenth” is typically celebrated by African Americans. On June 19, 1865, the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were free which is noted by Juneteenth.com. However, some people decided to focus on how far America has progressed when defining independence.
“I mean the fact that we’re all independent at this point is what is more important, we’re all independent, we’re all kind of celebrating this together and that’s really what’s more important to me at the time,” said Washington County resident, Harrison Bamfo.
As of 2019, 46 out of 50 states recognize Juneteenth.