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Action Item
DATE: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
TO: School Board Members
FROM: Jeff Eakins, Superintendent
Adoption of Proclamation - The Juneteenth National Freedom Day (Office of Diversity)
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

Later attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another, is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still another, is that federal troops waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which, or none of these versions could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln's authority over the rebellious states was in question. For whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory.

• Improve Student Achievement • Provide a student-centered learning environment that engages every child • Develop a culture of respect, trust, collaboration and equity • Engage and communicate with families and stakeholders • Continuously improve processes and systems • Demonstrate "best practices" in all aspects of safety: student, employee, visitor, facility, transportation, and health
    Minerva Spanner-Morrow, Ed.D.

  Chief Diversity Officer
(813) 273-7125
    A 01
Hillsborough County Public Schools (Florida) * Mtg.#20190611_925 (Board Meeting) * Section A Item# 01