Back in the days of the Declaration of Independence, abolishing slavery was an extremely controversial topic. Those of us motivated by the lofty ideals we espoused on paper, "all are created equal, all are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, etc., etc.," certainly wrestled with the fact that if we were fighting for freedom for ourselves, we also owed the same thing to others who had been brought to our shores against their will. And so, therefore, we said, slavery should suffer the same fate as our allegiance to a king who cared not for his subjects. It should be abolished, never to be returned to again.
I'm embarrassed to admit, however, that our goal of totally abolishing slavery took another 78 years to bring to full fruition. My 21st century friends inform me that it wasn't until after a bloody Civil War and slow, state-by-state political processes, that it finally became official. The last state to come on board was Texas — they granted Emancipation to all the slaves residing in that territory on June 19, 1865. From that day forward, all of our United States were legally bound to stand behind this principle of freedom for all...and, I daresay, equality for all, as well!
That day — June 19th — is now a holiday for all who trace their ancestry back to those early slaves. "Juneteenth," as it is now called, is celebrated in Texas and many other places around the country. Even in my own hometown of Boston!
To give you a little idea of what these events look like, there's a video (is that what you call these "picture shows" in this amazing future world of yours?) created by an acquaintance of mine, showing the Boston families who gathered this year in Franklin Park (what a fitting tribute, for which I'm most grateful) on Saturday, June 16th, 2018, celebrating with others across the nation this great holiday of Juneteenth. It's a day of food, fun, and fellowship — and remembering that day when they were freed from bondage, 153 years ago.
You can view this presentation, I'm told, on something called "Youtube," if you use this link:
Or, you can click directly on the Youtube picture below: