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Monday, May 31, 2021

Did You Know The Black Origin Of Memorial Day?

Original Memorial Day

Did you know that Memorial Day was originally a Black holiday called “Decoration Day”?

It was a celebration to thank the Black Union soldiers who’d fought and given their lives in the Civil War.

The first Decoration Day was held in 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina. The Union army had just successfully defeated the Confederate army. Black Union soldiers played a very large part in this victory.

On May 1, 1865, around 10,000 free Black people gathered in the historic Hampton Park to pay their respects to the fallen Black Union soldiers. Hampton Park was formerly the site of a prison (built by white Confederates) which had confined many Black Union soldiers overtime. To honor their fallen lives, free Black workmen had decided to convert the prison into a memorial site. This is where the first Decoration Day was held.

The celebration itself consisted of a large parade, fiery speeches, picnics, and even demonstrations by some of the surviving Black Union soldiers. The whole event was a happy and fun gathering of Black people who were celebrating their victory over white enslavement. Celebrations like this one continued to be held by Black people all over the United States.

Over the years, Decoration Day was copied by whites. They changed the date to the end of May, and renamed it “Memorial Day”. The meaning was whitewashed to be a celebration for “all soldiers” who fought in the war. But this was not the original meaning.

Now you know!



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