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Juneteenth or Emancipation Day is a holiday commemorating the release of those held in bondage during slavery. It started in Galveston, Texas, and is now celebrated every year on June 19 across the United States. Noted poets Brian Donnell James and Jackie Oldham will co-host the event.
A found poem by Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram, (2021)
In 1941, Laura Smalley, a former slave in Texas, told a WPA worker about the day she heard of her freedom.
We all got up that morning
and went to the big house to see ole’ master.
I thought ole’ master was dead,
I didn’t know he had gone to war,
He was back.
All the slaves gathered around to see ole’ master.
He didn’t tell us we were free.
He worked us for six more months and
turned us loose on the 19th of June.
That is why we colored folks celebrate that day,
celebrate that day,
celebrate that day.”