Mike sits down with Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Ph.D., associate professor of History at Ohio State University, to discuss what Juneteenth means to Black Ohioans.
"We have to remember that the Emancipation Proclamation which went into effect on Jan. 1, 1863 didn't actually free any enslaved people. It was more of a military measure that said if Confederate forces didn't lay down their arms, then those enslaved folk who were in states that were in rebellion would be free,” Jeffries said. “But Lincoln didn't have the military authority to free anyone. So, it wasn't until the end of the Civil War two years later that enslaved African Americans, then under control of Union forces, were effectively freed.
“But Texas was the Western Frontier; it was an outpost, and so it took a while, from April until June, before Union forces were able to penetrate Texas and actually issue a declaration letting enslaved folk know and have the military force in place to actually give meaning to Emancipation."