Thursday, June 26, 2008
A small parade wound through the Western Addition neighborhood down McAllister Street to the Civic Center on Saturday for a "Juneteenth" celebration.
This is a semi-official holiday in about half the of United States commemorating June 19, 1865, when the Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and officially announced the emancipation of the slaves.
Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, which was supposed to take effect on January 1, 1863, but that did very little to change the daily lives of slaves for the next couple of years.
In some cases, news of the Proclamation didn't even reach outlying territories such as Texas for years, so that June 19, 1865, when the news was announced, has been a day for barbeques and celebrations in Texas ever since, and an official state holiday since 1980.
The San Francisco parade, the first in my memory, was a homemade affair...
...with classic cars weaving down the road, people in wheelchairs, and even an equestrian unit.
The cops and parking control people were not particularly helpful, as they decided to let all the cross-traffic go by during the traffic lights, which you could tell irritated many of the participants.
Still, it fit in with the theme of having to wait endlessly for a little justice.
Heck, they are even being co-opted by Wells Fargo, the "diversity" bank.