Two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was supposed to have freed the slaves, news of the war ending — and that Lincoln had freed the slaves back in 1863 — finally made it to Galveston, Texas, on June 19th, 1965. So Texas, against its will, finally re-joined the rest of the Union, all slaves were freed and Juneteenth is now the holiday truly commemorating the freeing of all the slaves in America. Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s grandfather was born a slave in Galveston post-Emancipation Proclamation, but weeks before Juneteenth, making this commemoration especially meaningful to Rep. Lee and her family.

On this 155th commemoration of Juneteenth, Rep. Lee joins Michael to discuss the never-ending struggle for freedom for Black Americans and her courageous, lone vote against a never-ending war, 3 days after 9/11.


Read More About Rep. Lee’s proposal for a U.S. Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation: 

Barbara Lee’s Lone Vote on Sept. 14, 2001, Was as Prescient as It Was Brave and Heroic


Music from the episode: 

Alice Walker and friends sing Lift Every Voice 

Beyoncé – Lift Every Voice and Sing 


Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that 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 now free. The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 had had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance of the white racist slave owners and the poor white population willing to die for those rich racist bastards. Crazy!

Texas today is no longer a “white state.” 58% of its population is now made up of Black, Hispanic, Asian and other people of color.


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