Madison 2014 Junteenth Commemoration at Penn Park, and Lyrics to Bob Marley’s “400 Years” (of slavery)


According to Kujichagulia-Madison Center for Self Determination, today marks the Madison area’a 25th annual celebration of Juneteeth, a nationally recognized community-wide event commemorating the last formal announcement from the federal government that African-American slavery in the United States was legally over.

According to history, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, but it took close to three more years before the full emancipation of America’s slaves was completed!

The historic moment that slavery was last announced as illegal in the U.S. came on June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to issue General Order No. 3, officially freeing America’s last African-American slaves. Slavery of Africans, initiated first in the Caribbean Islands about 1600, was finally over in the U.S..

As with previous Juneteenth celebrations, the day is celebrated with words, song, dance and food; at the city of Madison’s Penn Park, from 10 am to 6 pm, June 21.Gospel music is highlighted as well as performances, children’s events and a heritage area.

The event kicks off with a parade beginning at Fountain of Life Family Worship Center on West Badger Road in Madison.

Song lyrics to Bob Marley’s

“400 Years” [of slavery]

400 years 400 years, 400 years.
And it’s the same,
The same philosophy

I’ve said it’s four hundred years,
400 years, 400 years.
Look, how long.
And the people they still can’t see.
Why do they fight against the poor youth of today?
And without these youths, they would be gone –
All gone astray

Come on, let’s make a move,
make a move, make a move.
I can see time – time has come,
And if-a fools don’t see
fools don’t see, fools don’t see.

I can’t save the youth:
The youth is gonna be strong.
So, won’t you come with me;
I’ll take you to a land of liberty
Where we can live – live a good, good life
And be free.

Look how long: 400 years, 400 years, 400 years –
Way too long!

That’s the reason my people – my people can’t see.
Said, it’s four hundred long years, 400 years, 400 years.
Give me patience – same philosophy.

It’s been 400 years, 400 years, 400 years.
Wait so long!
How long? 400 long, long years….

About Mike Neuman

Environmentalist; Father; Senior Citizen; Husband, Former School Crossing Guard for City of Madison; Bike to Work Advocate; Animal/Children/People Lover (in general); Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Madison, Wisconsin, Anti-long distance travel (via fossil fuel burning); Against militarism in any form; Strong believer in people everywhere having the right to speak their minds openly, without any fear of reprisal, regarding any concerns; for those in authority to listen attentively AND, as warranted, ACT AS NECESSARY AND IN A TIMELY MANNER TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE those concerns; Lover of music, especially live music, music by: David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young; John Prine; Steve Goodman; B.B. King; Eric Burton; Gracy Slick, Carol King;John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr; Bob Dylan; Lightfoot; Mark Knoffler; Richard Thompson; Elvis Presley; Tom Petty; Willie Nelson, Others too numerous to mention.

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