Editorial - Room with a View

Room with a View: Juneteenth is for all Americans

Happy Juneteenth!

This is the anniversary of the day in 1866 that the Emancipation Proclamation was formally announced in Galveston, Texas, two years after it was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.

Since that time, the informal holiday has spread from Galveston and has been celebrated nationwide, mostly by African Americans.

This week, Juneteenth formally became an official federal holiday: Juneteenth National Independence Day.

Today, a memorial service will be held at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana for Bob Johnson, a longtime advocate for fair housing in Orange County.

All of the above was rolled into the caption of a photograph on page 7 in the paper edition of the Orange County Register. The photo shows Bob Johnson and his wife, Lois. The caption reads:

Bob and Lois Johnson of Tustin were married for 65 years. They both grew up in Glendale and in 1961 moved to Orange County, where they both became fierce advocates for fair housing and fought discrimination against Black renters and homebuyers. Bob Johnson died at 88 in April 2021. His memorial service today coincides with Juneteenth, the African American holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States.

(Emphasis added.)

It’s a marvelous article. Go read it!

My quibble is with the caption’s characterization of Juneteenth as an African American holiday rather than simply an American holiday.

We fought a Civil War over ending slavery in the United States. Freedom won. That’s something that all Americans can celebrate.