" . . . Celebrations of Juneteenth — which combines the word June with Nineteenth — began in 1866, a year and a day after Granger’s announcement.
Black men, women and children dressed in their finest attire and gathered to sing spirituals, pray, play baseball and eat. Often the menus included fried chicken, cornbread, greens and handmade strawberry soda.
'The red color of the soda symbolized blood shed during slavery,' Gibbs said. . . "
Reading the above information from C.R. Gibbs, a historian and author of “Black, Copper & Bright: The District of Columbia’s Black Civil War Regiment.” while I was in the middle of lunch on this very first observance of Juneteenth, the new federal holiday, I boxed up my uneaten portion and immediately went in search of those traditional foods.
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