A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Juneteenth Parade, Houston, Texas, ca. 1914, by F.J. Schleuter
In this era of virtually instantaneous communications, when there are approximately 7 billion people on the planet and 5.1 billion of them own cell phones, it seems incredible that it took two-and-a-half years for news of the end of slavery to reach Texas, and yet that is what happened. Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, but slaves in Texas did not learn of it until June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers sailed into Galveston Bay and Major General Gordon Granger read a special order from President Lincoln:
The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer. The freedmen are advised to remain at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts, and they will not be supported in idleness, either there or elsewhere.
The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture lists several African American folktales that explain the delay, including that President Lincoln sent the news from Washington by a Union soldier who rode all the way on a slow-moving mule. Another version held that many slave owners in Texas were aware of the Emancipation Proclamation but refused to tell their slaves about it until the 1865 crops had been harvested.
Since 1865, June 19th—or Juneteenth, as it is commonly called—has been a day of celebration for many African Americans in Texas. The celebrations usually include speeches, parades, food, drink, music, all sorts of recreational activities, and often, a display of quilts. The tradition has spread and today Juneteenth is celebrated in other states and even some other countries. It is an official state holiday in many states and there is an organization dedicated to lobbying for declaring Juneteenth a national holiday. Reverend Ronald V. Myers Sr., M.D., of Belzoni, Mississippi, is chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. The group’s mission is “To bring all Americans together to celebrate our common bond of freedom through the recognition, observance, education and historic preservation of Juneteenth in America”.
2015 will mark the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, and Reverend Myers would like to see the creation of an official Juneteenth commemorative quilt. He would also like to encourage groups and individuals to make Juneteenth commemorative quilts of their own. “Quilts are an important part of African American history,” said Rev. Myers. “It would be a great idea to have a National Juneteenth Quilt! I would like to see it travel around to different parts of the country and eventually be displayed in Washington, D.C.” You can contact Rev. Myers at email@example.com.
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Column 108: Quilting to Freedom
Column 107: National Quilting Day
Column 106: The Airing of the Quilts
Column 105: A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Column 104: Dominoes
Column 103: 1936 Texas Centennial Bluebonnet Quilt
Column 102: Helen Blackstone, A Texas Quilter
Column 101: Montana CattleWomen Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 100: 100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
Column 99: Montana Stockgrowers Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 98: The Tobacco Sack Connection
Column 97: Meet the Sisters Who Are State Fair Quilting Queens
Column 96: The connection between fairs and quilts.
Column 95: Her Mother Pieced Quilts
Column 94: Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes
Column 93: The Thread and Thimble Club Mystery
Column 92: The Ballerina Quilter
Column 91: Grandmother's Flower Garden Comes Alive at Texas Quilt Museum
Column 90: Leitmotif for a Lifelong Love Affair
Column 89: Quilting in The Bahamas
Column 88: Joan of Arc: A Quilter's Inspiration
Column 87: Home Demonstration Clubs and Quilting
Column 86: Linzi Upton and the Quilted Yurt
Column 85: A Bounty of Quilts
Column 84: Desert Trader
Column 83: Quilts and the Women’s Liberation Movement
Column 82: Replicating the Past: Reproduction Fabrics for Today’s Quilts
Column 81: Why So Many Quilt Shops in Bozeman, Montana?
Column 80: Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
Column 79: 54 Tons of Quilt
Column 78: Ollie Steele Burden’s Quilt Blocks
Column 77: Quilting with AMD
Column 76: Maverick Quilts and Cowgirls
Column 75: The Modern Quilt Guild—Cyberculture Quilting Ramps Up
Column 74: The Membership Quilt—Czech Quilting in Texas
Column 73: Maximum Security Quilts
Column 72: Author: Terri Thayer
Column 71: The Christmas Quilt
Column 70: New Mexico Centennial Quilt
Column 69: Scrub Quilts
Column 68: “Think Pink” Quilt Raises Funds for Rare Cancer Research
Column 67: Righting Old Wrongs.
Column 66: 100 Years, 100 Quilts - More on the Arizona Centennial.
Column 65: Arizona Centennial Quilt Project
Column 64: Capt. John Files Tom’s Family Tree
Column 63: The Fat Quarters
Column 62: Quilt Fiction Author: Clare O’Donohue
Column 61: Louisiana Bicentennial Quilt
Column 60: The Camo Quilt Project.
Column 59: Thread Wit
Column 58: Ralli Quilts
Column 57: Preschool Quilters
Column 56: The Story Quilt
Column 55: Red and Green Quilts
Column 54: On the Trail
Column 53: Quilt Trail Gathering
Column 52: True Confessions: First Quilt
Column 51: Quilted Pages
Column 50: Doll Quilts
Column 49: More Than a Quilt Shop
Column 48: Las Colchas of the Texas-Mexico Border
Column 47: Literary Gifts
Column 46: A Different Way of Seeing
Column 45: Sampling
Column 44: Hen and Chicks
Column 43: A Star Studied Event
Column 42: Shoo Fly Pattern
Column 41: Awareness Quilts
Column 40: Tivaevae
Column 39: UnOILed UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project
Column 38: Katrina Recovery Quilts
Column 37: Quilted Vermont
Column 36: The Labyrinth Quilt—A Meditative Endeavor
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