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Should Juneteenth Celebrations include the History of Slavery in California?
by khubaka, michael harris (blackagriculture [at]
Thursday Mar 28th, 2013 9:57 PM
Slavery in California remains an open secret, yet primary source documentation does exist. Colored US Troops first officially joined the armed service on May 22, 1863. Recognition for the California Colored Troops in the US Civil war and Slavery in California awaits on official cultural resource study essential to documentation the record.
San Francisco celebrates a 63rd Juneteenth Celebration. S.F. is home to the Presido, where much documentation of early California, especially the years of military command and where many US Colored Troops first began joining the armed service, officially on May 22, 1863.

There is a wonderful legacy of California Juneteenth and many wonderful places to hear the authentic story of California Juneteenth.

Documentation of slavery in Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Stockton and all throughout Gold Rush Country remains a task the California State Legislature should address this 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and U.S. Civil War.

Many California Juneteenth celebrations may finally began to share the legacy of people of African ancestry in the Great State of California.

In Texas, many found out that slavery ended on June 19, 1865, as General Granger and 2000 Union troops enforced freedom for an estimated 250,000 enslaved humans two months after the end of the Civil War.

When did folk enslaved in California find out they were free, some people still may not know?

State Senator Ed Vincent, Los Angeles authored Juneteeth Legislation to mandate recognition of the 3rd Saturday in June an official statewide celebration of California Juneteenth.

Monday, April 22, 2013
Slavery in California ~ Old Sacramento Tour
117 J Street @ Commonwealth Ave
6:00 pm ~ 7:30 pm

join us as we explore the possibilities...

Juneteenth Capay Valley
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Highway 16 ~ Guinda, CA
co-hosted by the California Black Agriculture Working Group

We are not Texas and by no means did Texas have all the enslaved human suffering from centuries of long and a difficult journey towards freedom. Juneteenth is a special day in US past, present and future, a National Day of Observance.

Slavery in California was a fact of life and a comprehensive official study has yet to be afforded any consideration of utility by our California Legislature. Historical amnesia is on full view in my birth home of Sacramento, California and hard fought minimal gains are discounted and disrespected.

Our California State Legislature enacted laws to restrict the right to vote by Black citizens, restrict the right to fund education for black students, restrict the right to testify in court for black people and restrict land ownership for black people.

Today, it is a few black folk the most vicious opponents to making change...

Xenophilia, must protect the general public from knowing about the first California Governor Peter Burnett in his first official speech, "proposed to export all Black people out of the State of California."

The official measure failed by the smallest of margins.

Juneteenth represents exactly what U.S. General Granger said to those enslaved in the fields in Texas, General Order #3 says, "you are no longer slaves, you are employees... now get back to work."

95% of Black folk in America were on the farm working for free for hundreds of years and today Black Farmers are all but forgotten, especially by Black people.

Slavery in California was the real thing...

Today, California Black Agriculture produces represent 1/4th of 1 pecent of all Farmers in California.

We must remove the terrible image of a carry-over from legal chattel slavery throughout the Westen Hemisphere and remove stigma and legal obstacles to entry level agriculture labor being "undocumented and often enslavement."

May the spirit of William Alexander Leidesdorff, Jr., "African Founding Father of California" guide you to discover the legacy of "California Juneteenth, Our Journey Towards Freedom."

Michael Harris, Ag Policy Director, Chair
California Black Agriculture Working Group

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Thomas J. White
Saturday Mar 30th, 2013 1:04 PM
To be accurate, Governor Burnett did not propose "to export all Black people out of the State of California," but only those who were not born here. "We have certainly the right to prevent any class of population from settling in our State, that we may deem injurious to our own society," Burnett wrote in his First Annual Message to the Legislature in 1849. "Had they been born here, and had acquired rights in consequence, I should not recommend any measures to expel. They are not now here, except a few in comparison with the numbers that would be here; and the object is to keep them out."

Also, General Granger's General Order #3 reads: "The people are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property, between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them, become that between employer and hired labor. The freed are advised to remain at their present homes, and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere." He did not declare them free only to then order them to "get back to work," as you put it, but advised them to work for wages.
by khubaka, michael harris
Sunday Mar 31st, 2013 9:57 AM
you are correct... the annual message and inaugural address are different...

yet, the heart and mind of Peter Burnett is clear, his wicked and demonic values and beliefs targeting people of African ancestry remains clear.

Slavery in California, was supported by the California Legislature and California Supreme Court for years.

Time will tell, the next 150 years maybe, just maybe an accurate picture of California History and the ongoing impacts of a fantasy view, predicated upon a child like current reality may find fertile soil.

by khubaka, michael harris
Sunday Mar 31st, 2013 2:16 PM
how many were provide assistance off the island? how many left "work" that day? really... it is time for adult conversations... in context of actual events... and actual documentation...

Texas is a pretty big state... do you mean to suggest Alston Villa and an island plantation instantly freed all enslaved throughout Texas on one afternoon with a General Field Order with 2000 troops on one island...


by Thomas J. White
Tuesday Apr 2nd, 2013 3:23 PM
You are right, Burnett's heart and mind are clear on the subject, but he did not propose "to export all Black people out of the State of California" in his First Annual Message to the Legislature, as you quoted him as saying. And no, I was not suggesting that General Granger's General Order #3 magically and instantaneously freed all the slaves in Texas and made their lives wonderful, but he did not order them "now get back to work," as you quoted him as saying.

The point I was gently trying to make was that if you are going to paraphrase someone, you need to make sure that it's an accurate paraphrase, and not what you think he said or what you believe was in his heart. The duty rests on your shoulders to make it clear to your readers the difference between what was actually said and your interpretation of it (whether the latter is accurate or not). Also, if you are going to use quotation marks, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that the words within them are word-for-word what the person literally said. To place inaccurate paraphrases within quotation marks only sullies your reputation.
by michael harris
Friday Apr 12th, 2013 10:31 AM
The truth will be known and the source documentation seen...