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5 facts about Juneteenth, which marks the last day of slavery

Today marks a pivotal point in American history. One hundred and fifty-two years ago, June 19, 1865,  the last slaves in Texas and more broadly the Confederate South were freed.

Nationally and in cities like Atlanta, the day has been celebrated with parades, plays and other festivities that honor the African-American culture that developed during and after slavery.

Here are 5 answers to some of the questions posed about Juneteenth:

Didn’t the Emancipation Proclamation end slavery years earlier?

Yes and No. Abraham Lincoln made slavery illegal with the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, which became federal law on January 1, 1863. However, it took nearly two-and-half years for that message to be relayed to Texas.

How did Juneteenth begin? 

 

On June 19, 1865, Major Gen. Gordon Granger came to Galveston, Texas, to inform a reluctant community that President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier had freed the slaves and to press locals to comply with his directive.  On this day, Granger announced “General Order No. 3.”

Prior to Granger’s declaration, there was an estimated 250,000 slaves residing in Texas, according to historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

What caused the delay in Texans receiving this news?

 

Some have noted that Texas geographic isolation may have played a role in the delay. According to Juneteenth.com, some accounts place the delay on a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news, while others say the news was deliberately withheld.

 Even with the order,  slavery did not end in Texas overnight, according to report by Gates. Many slave owners traveled to Texas with their slaves to escape regulations enforced by the Union Army in other states for some time.

Why is it called Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a combination of "June" and "nineteenth," in honor of the day that Granger announced the abolition of slavery in Texas. The day is also called Freedom Day.

RELATED: Quiz: Slavery in the U.S.

How are people honoring Juneteenth today?

While parades and festivals took place over the weekend, today several people across social media have created tributes to keep the history of Juneteenth alive.

 

 

 

Celebrate black history, culture and food during Juneteenth in Atlanta

African-American history will be championed in a major way during this weekend's Juneteenth celebration.

From the Black History Parade to live performances, the 5th annual Juneteenth Atlanta Parade & Music Festival will be a multi-day event to go down in the history books. Already, more than 10,000 people have chimed in on the Facebook event page so far.

9 iconic black history landmarks to visit near Georgia

"The vision has really developed into building one of the largest parades in the world that displays African American history pre- and post-slavery," Juneteenth Atlanta Director Bob Johnson said.

Prepare for the event happening June 16-18 by knowing what to expect from the fun-filled jubilee at the historically-black college Morris Brown College, 643 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30314.

The festival celebrates a pivotal moment in American history. 

Juneteenth is named for the day when the last slaves in American Confederate states were freed on June 19, 1865, which was years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863.

Each year, Juneteenth Atlanta, which is a local nonprofit organization, honors African American accomplishments that go back over 150 years by holding events that showcase black culture and history.

The festival welcomes black-owned businesses, local artists and genealogy researchers to help encourage family and community unity. Since the celebration falls on Father's Day weekend, dads are also honored and those who share the Gemini zodiac sign are encouraged to "do the Boogie."

Expect eye-catching moments each day. 

From 1-9 p.m. Friday, the festival will be in full swing with Family Friday, which includes a poster-making project, and vendors will open for business at the festival grounds at Morris Brown College.

On Saturday at noon, the Juneteenth Black History Parade, which is the main attraction for the weekend, will travel east from Mosley Park to Morris Brown College. During the parade 11 floats will ride the route including ones dedicated to black history leaders, such as Harriet Tubman, Madam C.J. Walker and Fannie Lou Hammer.

These are the five largest black-owned business in Atlanta

"The parade tells our stories and the contributions and the achievements that have occurred," Johnson said.

The Atlanta Mass Band, Band of Champions and Atlanta Public School bands will march in the parade, and dance teams, such as the Memphis Mystique, will shimmy to the sounds.

On Sunday, the celebration will continue with an Afro Fashion Show & Swimsuit Review. Throughout the weekend, a variety of other things are planned such as book signings, massages, yoga in the park and a Freedom Run.

Prepare to hear lots of live music.

Over 100 artists have signed up to perform at Juneteenth Atlanta, with sounds including opera, spiritual, hip-hop, funk, jazz and blues. Even young kids will hit the Main Stage as entertainers. Some performers include singer-songwriter DeAnna Dawn and rock-soul band NubAtomic. Each day of Juneteenth Atlanta has its own lineup of artists that will be sure to get you dancing along.

Get ready to be immersed into culture.

The vendor market will feature African-American, family-owned businesses that sell items such soaps, jewelry and fashions. African inspired clothing store Nubian Goods will be one of the vendors, along with African-American head wrap shop Wrapper Delights.

"It's like a treasure. It's the ultimate shopping experience for the public," Johnson said.

Expect foods that will peak your taste buds like frozen treats from Dolphins Water Ice Factory, jerk chicken and Caribbean food. Food trucks will abound, and even an 11-year-old will be serving up renowned hot dogs.

Read more about the Juneteenth plans in Marietta and more here.

Listen all weekend long!

Join your KISS 104.1 family as we celebrate the official start of summer with an official Old School Weekend

ATL, KISS 104.1 is digging in the crates, and pulling out all your favorite jamz from the 70's, 80's and 90's, starting Friday at 9 AM, and all weekend long!

KISS 104.1, Atlanta’s best R&B and Throwbacks.

Listen to KISS 104 from anywhere.

Download the KISS 104 App: Apple StoreGoogle Play

HOSEA Helps: Donate Now

Join KISS 104.1 get Hosea Helps the help they need -- on July 7, we will host a KISS-A-THON to benefit Hosea Helps!

For over four decades, Hosea Helps resided at 1035 Donnelly Avenue in Southwest Atlanta. As of July 1, 2017, Hosea Helps will be homeless, and their lease will not be renewed, so they need a NEW HOME. The funds from this campaign will go toward purchasing a new warehouse, moving expenses and closing costs.

How can you help? 

• Right now, you can donate at gofundme.com/4Hosea 

• During the KISS-A-THON on July 7 

      o Donate by phone or text from 5:00am-7:00pm 

      o Join KISS 104.1 and donate in person at the           Fulton County Atrium from 9:00am-3:00pm           where KISS 104.1’s Sasha The Diva and Art Terrell           will be broadcasting live

Imagine what Atlanta would be without Hosea Helps:

- 15,000 Georgia seniors would not receive hot meals

- 121 families will go homeless

- 2,000 children would not have school supplies or toys for Christmas

- 2,800 families would not have vital health screenings and preventative health care services

- 21,000 families would be without nutritious food

- 2,000 orphans in Uganda would be without food and housing

- 700 children in our school in the Philippines would lose access to education K-12.

- Countless number of homeless citizens would freeze in the winter along with hundreds of seniors would not have heat

- 9,000 volunteers would lose the opportunity to give back to the greater Atlanta community

 

Hosea Helps needs to raise $600,000 to help with PURCHASING, MOVING & CLOSING COSTS. The new location will be larger allowing them to expand their outreach programs and continue their mission - helping people in need. They need your help to continue their work, so please donate and share this link with your friends so they can make a difference too!

Hosea Helps is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization - donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. All donations will be used solely for the purchase, moving expenses and costing cost for the new warehouse.

KISS 104.1 welcomes corporate partnerships and donations as well. Please contact Amanda Allwood at Amanda.Allwood@coxinc.com if you are interested in learning more.

Cinco de Mayo: Five things you didn’t know

Cinco de Mayo is upon us. Many will be celebrating the holiday with margaritas and Mexican food.

>> Read more trending news  

Here are five facts about the Mexican holiday that you can use to impress your friends:

1) Despite a common misconception, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. The holiday celebrates the  Battle of Puebla , where, against all odds, the Mexicans made a stand against an invading French army in 1862.

2) Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico, with the exception of the city of Puebla. Mexico holds more of a celebration on its  Independence Day, September 16, than it does on Cinco de Mayo.

3) The holiday means big business for the avocado industry. The  California Avocado Commission says that Americans consume around 81 million avocados during Cinco de Mayo.

4) Chandler, Arizona, has a unique way of celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It hosts a Chihuahua race every year.

>>  Quiz: How much do you know about Cinco de Mayo?

5) The 2010 U.S. Census estimates that about 31.8 million U.S. residents are of Mexican origin. The largest concentration of Mexican-Americans is in Los Angeles, the city that holds the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S.

Join us for free movies & a block party 

KISS @ The Movies! Join us for free family movies and a block party at parks all over the Atlanta area.

The block party starts at 7:30pm.

Movies start at dusk.

Solar eclipse stamp changes from eclipsed sun to full moon

To commemorate the total solar eclipse over the US in August, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing a landmark stamp that does something no other stamp can.

The Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamp, which will be issued June 20, changes when you touch it from an image of the eclipsed sun to one of the full moon.

>> Read more trending news

On August 21, the moon will slip between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow that will create the first full solar eclipse over the U.S. in 38 years.

In a swath of the country from South Carolina to Oregon, darkness will reign in the middle of the day for a full two minutes and 40 seconds, beginning at 1:25 p.m. in the Eastern time zone.

>> Related: Time running out to get reservations for the total solar eclipse in US

The solar eclipse stamp image is a photograph taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, AZ, that shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006.

Thermochromic ink makes the stamp work. Using the heat of your finger, the image will reveal an underlying image of the moon, which Espenak also took. The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools.

>> Related: Rare total solar eclipse visible from America in August 

Thermochromic inks are vulnerable to UV light and should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible to preserve this special effect. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service will be offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.

The back of the stamp will have a map of the eclipse path.

Read more here. 

ESPN anchor draws ire over network’s soft WWE coverage, drops pro wrestling SportsCenter segment

Pro wrestling fans and writers had questioned World Wrestling Entertainment for several weeks after the disappearance of one of its lead announcers from television, Mauro Ranallo, who was suffering from depression.

Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer said Ranallo may have been the victim of WWE’s bullying culture, particularly John Layfield, his color commentator who made disparaging remarks about Ranallo following his absence on TV and during an out-of-character segment on the company’s streaming network.

The allegations became more rampant after the release of “Best Seat in The House,” a book by former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts. Roberts alleged Layfield bullied him and others regularly, particularly announcers. This behavior and culture was not only tolerated but encouraged by WWE owner Vince McMahon.

ESPN started covering WWE regularly last year, launching its own pro wrestling section on its website, and with a weekly SportsCenter segment by ESPN anchor Jonathan Coachman, a former WWE announcer himself.

ESPN has been questioned for its involvement with WWE, especially its reluctance to cover negative news about the company, almost to the point of sticking to storyline-esque interviews on its programming. The questioning began heating up over the weekend when the story bullying story began to go viral. When asked in a tweet if ESPN would cover the controversy, wrestling journalist Meltzer replied expressing doubt in strong language. 

Coachman wasn’t involved in the discussion, but entered the fray anyway with a shot at Meltzer.

In the middle of his argument, Coachman announced he was dropping the weekly WWE segment from SportsCenter. He deleted the Tweet later, then said he had been planning on dropping it for several weeks because of other projects, but his timing seemed suspect. He pointed fans toward ESPN’s vertical for pro wrestling and WWE coverage.

ESPN has drawn ire for its news coverage, often for its abundance of debate shows during the morning hours and conflict of interest of having TV deals with the companies it covers. The network dropped a planned fictional show based on a pro football team after criticism from the NFL, then later dropped support of a PBS Frontline documentary on accusations the NFL had covered up concussion issues. 

John Cena meets 12-year-old fan with cerebral palsy

WrestleMania 33 is Sunday night, and fans will pack the Amway Arena in Orlando or watch the matches live on the WWE Network. John Cena will be one of the headliners in pro wrestling’s biggest showcase.

>> Read more trending news 

Fans all have their favorites, and John Cena certainly ranks high among WWE fans. Recently, Cena made a 12-year-old fan’s dream come true.

At a WWE card in Johnson City, Tennessee, Cena spotted Payton Marion, who has cerebral palsy, and tossed him a T-shirt and wristband, WVLT reported. After the matches, Cena met with Payton and his father, Justin Marion.

“Payton is super excited about all that, all his friends have been aggravating him, calling him a superstar,” Justin Marion told WVLT. “The fact that my son was able to meet one of his heroes, my heart melts, and it was just crazy.”

Justin Marion explained on Reddit that WWE wrestler AJ Styles set up the meeting between Cena and his son.

“He saw us standing around, and asked if we wanted a picture,” Jason Marion said. “Of course we said ‘yes.’ Then he asked if we got to see everyone.”

When Justin Marion said Payton saw everyone but Cena — his favorite wrestler — Styles invited father and son backstage to the locker room.

Cena arrived and chatted with Payton, capping an exciting night for the boy.

Payton Marion said he uses Cena as motivation during his physical therapy.

Cena is one of pro wrestling’s biggest ambassadors, granting more than 500 requests in the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

At SXSW, Joe Biden pushes to end divisions that hamper fight against cancer

In an emotional talk at South by Southwest on Sunday afternoon, former Vice President Joe Biden described his frustration with government silos preventing cancer research from moving forward and described the work he and his wife, Jill Biden, are doing with the Biden Foundation cancer initiative.

The so-called Cancer Moonshot work, which Joe and Jill Biden say they plan to devote the rest of their lives to, was the topic of a much-anticipated presentation at the conference, where government talk has taken center stage amid a divisive political climate.

Joe Biden stopped short of devoting significant time criticizing President Donald Trump’s administration, but did draw applause at one point for referencing Trump by suggesting that not caring about clean air or water is correlated to the fight against cancer.

>> Beau Biden's widow in romantic relationship with his brother, report says

“It frustrates me,” Biden said, without calling Trump by name.

Instead, after being introduced by his wife, Biden spent the bulk of his hour-long Austin Convention Center talk describing what work has been done on the cancer initiative and the work that needs to be done going forward.

In particular, Biden said, 50 years of walls erected between different disciplines need to be broken down.

“If we did nothing more than break down the silos of preventing greater collaboration because of how the system has been arranged, not intentionally ...  we could extend the life of a lot of people with cancer,” Biden said.

As an example, Biden cited a case in which under the administration of former President Barack Obama, $30 million was awarded to improve electronic recordkeeping. “It got divided up five ways, into six different silos. You can’t share information, by design even,” he said.

As to why he chose South by Southwest to deliver this message, Biden said that he needs the collective help of the kinds of people who attend the conference.

“South by Southwest has brought together some of the most creative minds in the world,” Biden said. Even those who work in technology as entertainment can innovate in ways to fight cancer in unexpected ways, he said. 

>> For complete SXSW coverage, head to Statesman.comMyStatesman.com512tech.com and Austin360.com

“That’s why we need your help. You’re the future. We can solve these problems. These are technological problems. These are not cancer problems. Some of the most innovative minds in the world are sitting in front of me,” Biden said.

The cancer moonshot initiative, Biden said, began when he had decided not to run for president in the 2016 election and was ready to announce it in the White House Rose Garden. 

"I would have loved to have been the president who presided over the end of cancer as we know it,” he remembered telling Obama, which put into motion the work, spurred by the death from cancer of his son, Beau Biden.

Biden spoke of the end of his son’s life toward the end of the talk, speaking more quietly and emotionally as he described a clinical trial his son participated in and how he felt when Congress, led by political rival Mitch McConnell, named a chunk of cancer funding for Beau.

“The one thing I know maybe better than anybody living is the Congress,” Joe Biden said. “And guess what? Guess what? The only bipartisan thing left in America is the fight against cancer.”

By the end of the talk, Biden was eliciting tears from the crowd. Referencing John F. Kennedy, he ended the SXSW presentation by describing the desperation of those dying of cancer who want just one more month, or even a day. He concluded: “That’s the urgency of now. This moment. This instant.”

>> Read more trending news

In addition to breaking down walls among disciplines, Biden said making better use of money taxpayers are already putting toward cancer research, better access to clinical trials and more widespread sharing of critical data are keys to the cancer battle.

“Your government that many of you don't like is the vehicle for how this gets funded,” he said.

Biden described a bright spot that has already began to spur change: cancer-sequencing data at the Genomic Data Commons has been accessed online more than 80 million times. Partnerships between research groups, nonprofits and tech companies, he said, will keep data flowing more freely. “It’s a big deal,” he said.

South by Southwest continues through Saturday, March 19.

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