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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Juneteenth: The first days of freedom

Juneteenth derives its name from the Emancipation Day of June 19th, 1865, which ended slavery for all Africans within the United States of America- Babatunde Amenosis [James Rudd].

When I Be Free
Mr President make the say
Mr Generalman make the day
Mr Generalman is where we be
Mr Generalman the one who say we free
Mr Generalman when I be free?
Mr Generalman when I be free?
I can tell by the work I get
Mr Generalman I aint free yet
Mr Generalman when I be free?

According to Black folk tales this song started in South Carolina by a slave who was purchased from an owner in the District of Columbia, the day before Emancipation was put into effect there on April 11th, 1862. Upon reaching his new home in Hilton Head, South Carolina he was told that everybody was freed by General David Hunter of Camp Saxton, but that the President had rescinded the order. However, the new owner, upon hearing the slave sing and learning that Emancipation of all slaves was near, sold the Blackman to a slave trader who promptly shipped him to a new owner in Louisiana. The Black arrived just as General Herron was rescinding his earlier Emancipation order by re-instating slavery. The Black was hired out to the Army with a detail of other slaves to clean the General`s quarters, and, seeing the General through a window, began to sing his now famous song in a very loud voice, "Mr Generalman, when I be free?". The new owner immediately sold him to to a family in Texas. Shortly after arriving in Texas the Blackman heard that General Granger was coming to Galveston to free all the slaves. At once the he ran away and headed straight to Galveston where he waited on the dock for the General to arrive. Not being able to get close to the General at the dock because so many other Blacks were waiting to see the General, he followed the precession to the General`s headquarters. Upon seeing the General about to enter his new command the Black began to sing his song again, and this time even louder, as the crowdturned to see who was singing a path opened allowing the runaway to come to the front.
At this point all the rest of the runawawys began to join the singing. Hearing this loud voice that seemed to be leading the congregation the General stopped and turned to see who the big voice was. The Blackman runs up to the General and drops to his knees, and with all the disapointment of 300 years of slavery, says to the General: Mr Generalman, when will I be free?
It is alleged that the General replied in a loud voice imitating the the Black said: You be free now! Of course the newly freed Black`s never heard the rest of General Gordon Granger`s proclamation, they were too busy singing a new song lead by the former runaway.....
"Free at Last"
"Free at Last"
" Thank GOD Almighty"
"I am Free at Last"

This is the introduction of "Juneteenth: the last days of slavery" written by Babatunde Amenosis [James Rudd]. We will reprint the entire book free of charge on this site in the near future. The International Association of Juneteenth was founded in 1987 in NY, by Babatunde and the Amenosis family, including Akintunde and Romambo Amenosis. I.A. of Juneteenth is also a part of PROJECT NEVER FORGET, founded in 1986 by the same family. We dedicate this inaugural post to the memories of Alfreda Young and Barbara Rudd, the Queen Grandmother and Queen Mother of our family. ASE! ASE! ASE!
Please check out our brother site PROJECT NEVER FORGET, and our sister site WELCOME TO THE COLORED SECTION. HTP!