Lowcountry Gullah
Featured Image

So, What is Freedom Day?

By Luana M. Graves Sellars

If you’re reading this on February 1st, Happy Freedom Day! So, What’s Freedom Day? Well, it’s one of the most important days in American history and a day that is very special in the Black community. Freedom Day should be a national holiday, just like the fourth of July or Juneteenth; it’s the day that slaves finally received word of the emancipation proclamation, letting them know that they were free. Haven’t heard about Juneteenth either? I’m not surprised. Like most Black history, both Freedom Day and Juneteenth have for the most part been left out of United States history books.

But for now, that’s a conversation for another day.

Photo Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

Back to Freedom Day. February 1st, 1865 was the day that President Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution into law freeing slaves.

With these words and a joint resolution of Congress, President Lincoln ushered in freedom for millions of enslaved people, although, the number of states that were needed to ratify the amendment wasn’t reached until December 6th, 1865.

Unfortunately, Lincoln didn’t live to see the amendment ratified, even though the end of slavery sparked celebrations nationwide.

But hold on a second, that’s getting ahead of the story. That was 1865. To begin the story of freedom, you need to go back a few years to 1862 and the actual time and place where freedom really began for slaves – on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in a historic town called Mitchelville; as well as an important part of the Underground Railroad.

Did I pique your interest? To follow the story, click here for the documentary telling you all about the slaves who lived as freedmen in Mitchelville, the birthplace of freedom beginning in 1862. Freedom Day: Exploring the Families of Historic Mitchelville

For more on Juneteenth check out these articles – Juneteenth or Juneteenth: All of this Talk about Reconstruction

© Lowcountry Gullah and www.lowcountrygullah.com, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lowcountry Gullah and www.lowcountrygullah.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any unauthorized duplication, download or reprint of images or content from this website for promotional or commercial use is strictly prohibited without written permission from Lowcountry Gullah. Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Trademark pending.

Thanks for stopping by. Comments and conversations are always welcome!

How would you feel if your property was taken away after 6 generations?

Heirs Property issues and the erosion of historic generational Gullah land is at a critical state.

Click here to learn more about heirs property and to make your donation today.

Pin It on Pinterest