These days New Year’s Eve and Day are cause for celebration, but in enslaved Black communities New Year’s Day used to be known as “Hiring Day” or “Heartbreak Day.” That’s because the first of the year marked the day in which most debts were settled, and as such, enslaved people were often put up for auction or rented out on New Year’s Day. Often this broke up families, and so New Year’s Eve was a time of great fear and anxiety. Many years ago, the Methodist church began a custom often practiced on New Year’s Eve called Watch Night where people gathered and prayed. Of course, the most historic Watch Night we remember was New Year’s Eve 1862 when the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect the next day on January 1, 1863. Nowadays, some communities still commemorate New Year’s Eve with a night of prayer.
As the Free Speech TV community works together to build a better world, it’s important we remember our nation’s history. We are grateful to spend this New Year with you, but even more grateful for the work we will do together in 2022.
This New Year, give a gift that can make radical change. Together we can elect representatives who believe in universal human rights, anti-racism, climate protection, kindness, and decency.
Click here to make a New Year gift now. Any gift you make before midnight on New Year’s Eve will be doubled thanks to some amazing Frontline Funders in our FSTV viewer community.
Sign up for Our Newsletter
Get updates about the policies and topics that matter the most to you. Progressive news directly to your email.