What If No One Told You That You Were Free?

Today is "Juneteenth," a celebration I hadn't heard of until recently -- but it's apparently as old as 1865 in places.
Laura Smalley, who was freed from a plantation near Bellville, Texas, remembered in a 1941 interview that her former master had gone to fight in the Civil War and came home without telling his slaves what had happened.

“Old master didn’t tell, you know, they was free,” Smalley said . “I think now they say they worked them, six months after that. Six months. And turn them loose on the 19th of June. That’s why, you know, we celebrate that day.”

It was June 19, 1865 when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his Union troops arrived at Galveston with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
I wonder what we might be free of, that we just haven't been told about yet? You don't have to do that anymore: maybe it's carrying a grudge against a family member, or drinking too much, or whatever else. You can stop. You are free. Just nobody told you.

Thought of that way, it's a universal story rather than a particular one. I'll bet we all have things like that.

1 comment:

douglas said...

Good post, Grim.