Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Izola Collins: 'I have to respond to your last item by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. since I am the author of the only book that tells the true story of Juneteenth.'

Island of Color: Where Juneteenth Started; Izola Ethel Fedford Collins; AuthorHouse (2004)

Izola Collins writes:

I have to respond to your last item by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. since I am the author of the only book that tells the true story of Juneteenth. I still live in Galveston, Texas, which is where Juneteenth started. My grandfather, Reverend Ralph Albert Scull, was  a five year old boy when his father, Horace Scull brought the family to live here in Galveston, right after General Granger read the order no. 3, which you have quoted. My grandfather was in the first group of African Americans who were taught how to read and write in my own church, Reedy Chapel A.M.E. Church. My grandfather went to school in Wilberforce after that, and came back to become the first male, and his sister Clara, the first female African American person to comeback here and teach in the public school system. My grandfather kept a composition book full of the details of the freed African Americans after he completed 52 years of teaching here. I grew up in the house with him, and wrote this book, based on the information that he wrote, plus eyewitness accounts from many persons who lived during that period of time, plus my own observations.

My book is titled "Island of Color", subtitled "Where Juneteenth Started". You can get it from  AuthorHouse, www.authorhouse.com or Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or directly from me, with my autograph.

I would love to meet Henry Louis Gates, Jr, since I have followed his documentaries with great interest, buying several. I have also had an item on your site before. 

Tomorrow, I will be directing my Galveston Heritage Chorale in selections in a program designed to commemorate our historic Juneteenth. 

By the way, our Juneteenth commemorates not only the 19th of June, but also the 17th, which is when the wharf workers first heard the news themselves, and it spread by word of mouth from there. Galveston is a natural deepwater port, because it is an island, facing the Gulf of Mexico. 
Izola Ethel Fedford Collins
Ph. 409-974-4425

Comment by email:
Thank you so much for sending this information forward - with a picture of my book. It is still so important for all people, especially our own, to know not only our lowest moments, but also our highest. "Island of Color" explains that so much of our present culture started right here in Galveston, which was a bustling metropolis before the 1900 Storm changed everything for our island. We have so many "firsts"; please read the details. Our children need to know why their heads should be held high, and what we owe our forefathers - and mothers.  [Izola Collins] 

No comments: