New Year’s Eve, with its prominence of abandoning the unfulfilled previously set resolutions and focusing on new beginnings with a buoyancy of self assurance of how this time, we shall be more determined to achieve all our previously unfulfilled dreams while setting new resolutions as we indulge in all kinds of secular celebrations that coincide with our racial, cultural, ethnicity and religious beliefs. But underneath all that are ancient celebrations deeply rooted in past and painful experiences but still joyfully remembered at 12:01 a.m, January. 1. 1863.
African Americans all over America gathered in churches, brush harbors, in hush arbors and in other places of worship on New Year’s Eve to “watch” the old year (1862) slip away. They gathered to “watch” the end of an era. They gathered to “watch” their in bondage come to an end, and they gathered to “watch” a new year be born at 12:01 a.m.! The year of jubilee was to begin at one second after midnight in the year of 1863! With that New Year came the birth of freedom as was promised by President Abraham Lincoln in the Emancipation Proclamation of September 1862. From the end of September of that year until December 31, 1862, Africans held in slavery in the different states of America were to be ‘’thenceforward, and forever free’’. The Executive Government of American was to recognize and maintain their freedom by refraining from acts that would repress such persons from achieving their actual freedom. They faithfully hoped and prayed that the Emancipation Proclamation would go into effect one second after midnight on January 1. 1863, and usher in a new wave of freedom. To date, watch meetings are still observed every New Year’s Eve within the African America communities. Trinity United Church of Christ.(2017), New Year’s Eve Watch Service. Watch Meeting.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!