National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
                         Celebration of Freedom


Juneteenth Poetry



January 1, 1863 was the official day for President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation;

But, it was two and a half years later before the start of the freedom celebration.

Many attempts were made to explain this delay;

It has remained one of the great mysteries until this day.


One story says the messenger of freedom was murdered on his way to Texas;

This was supposedly the first one of the conspiracy theory nexus.

Another on reports the land owners censored the news to maintain their labor force;

One of the more popular stories, but who was the source?


Yet another tale of federal troops allowing another harvest of cotton;

Of all the dirty tricks, this one was the most rotten.

Regardless of whether any stories gives the correct news;

Many good people in Texas remained without freedom and singing the blues.


Finally in June of 1865, Major General Gordon Granger with a flag and a gun;

Stormed the shores of a Texas town called Galveston.

The Generals first order of business was to announce the news of freedom;

And this time he brought along enough Union troops to make the people heed them.


Some people reacted with shock, while others reacted with complete jubilation;

The news of this day finally spread all over the nation.

Most people could not wait to leave the plantation and start living free;

So, from their home state they started to flee.


Regardless of where they went, they were followed with freedom’s challenges;

These challenges came from making decisions and environmental changes.

They never forgot that joyous 19th day of June;

When people once enslaved could finally sing their freedom tune.


The celebration started with reassuring and praying;

The adults were eating and drinking while the children were playing.

It was also a time for the reuniting of family members;

It was one of the happiest days many of them remembers.


Today it is a day of pilgrimage to that town;

Let the shouts of freedom for all make a holy sound.

Soon the day will come when in unison we say;

“Forever and ever all Americans will celebrate Juneteenth, the freedom holiday”!

By Arthur Kroll