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Why does MJ Housing & Services Celebrates Juneteenth?

Juneteenth celebrates the date in 1865 that black Texas slaves were informed by the Governor of Texas that they were free.

Black slavery ended in America on Jan. 1, 1863 but black slaves were told about it in stages. The last group to get the message, in Texas, had worked, lived and died for 2 1/2 EXTRA YEARS because the slave- holders who no longer owned them did not want the newly freed men, women and children to know that they weren't slaves anymore.

2 1/2 EXTRA YEARS of rapes, beatings, kidnappings, murders, sexual exploitation, child abuse, degradation, humiliation -

2 1/2 EXTRA YEARS of crops raised and harvested by freed people, saleable products made by freed people, unpaid labor performed for a Master or Missus, and anybody (s)he contracted with, by free people -

And some might say, "Well, it couldn't have been that bad. Tens of thousands of freed slaves share-cropped on the same land after slavery." But those former slaves had almost no choices.

Newly freed with no money, no education, no knowledge of anything but slavery. Newly freed and mourning the loss of kidnapped children, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. Newly freed after being stripped of dignity and humanity.

We do not celebrate the day black slaves were freed by a country that used them as property. We celebrate the day that the LAST of those slaves were told about their freedom. We celebrate with church services, trips to the beach, barbecues and dance contests. We celebrate with concerts, poetry readings, family reunions, moments of silence and "gittin' HAPPY". We do not Kimberly mourn ... We CELEBRATE.

In 1980, Texas was the first state to recognize the 19th of June as a holiday. That does not absolve those Texans, or the other slave-holders, who stole life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from people who had nothing, not even their own bodies and souls. But it is true. Recognition pf Juneteenth is another truth ... an American rite of passage, a growth pain and entirely necessary to move the entire society forward.

MJ Housing & Services celebrates diversity and is proud to be an all inclusive woman owned company.


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