"The people of Texas 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 rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."The reactions to this profound news ranged from pure shock to immediate jubilation.

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Thus, often guest speakers are brought in and the elders are called upon to recount the events of the past.

Prayer services were also a major part of these celebrations.

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North was a logical destination and for many it represented true freedom, while the desire to reach family members in neighboring states drove the some into Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Settling into these new areas as free men and women brought on new realities and the challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent status for black people in America Recounting the memories of that great day in June of 1865 and its festivities would serve as motivation as well as a release from the growing pressures encountered in their new territory.

The celebration of June 19 was coined "Juneteenth" and grew with more participation from descendants.

The Juneteenth celebration was a time for reassuring each other, for praying and for gathering remaining family members.

Certain foods became popular and subsequently synonymous with Juneteenth celebrations such as strawberry soda-pop.