On 19 June 1865, Major General Gordon Granger and his regiment landed at Galveston, Texas, to announce that the war had ended and the previously enslaved were free. “Wait,” you might think. “Wasn’t that 2½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect?” Yes; yes, it was. Texas had not had a significant enough Union presence in the intervening years to enforce that executive order. So the enslaved of Texas knew nothing of their freedom until that June 19th and the arrival of Granger. Since that date, “Juneteenth,” as it came to be known, has celebrated the ending of slavery in the United States.
To commemorate Juneteenth, even belatedly, I wanted to publicize a few new and/or important resources in African American research, as well as a recently created roadblock that significantly impacts researchers. I’ll start with the bad news first. It’s not insubstantial.
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