Juneteenth is an official National holiday in America celebrated on June 19th to commemorate Union General Gordon Granger’s reading of federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, on 19 June 1865, proclaiming that all enslaved persons in the U.S. state of Texas were now free. This came two years late of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation dated January 1, 1863.
After recent rising racial tensions, protests and riots throughout the U.S., there is a decision on the table to be discussed and to be made: Will Juneteenth become an official National Holiday? We are still seeking justice for those African Americans killed at the hands of police brutality and racial inequality, such as, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, but is a national holiday enough to repair the damage that has been caused? The answer is no. The work is not done and if you ask me, a national holiday to recognize our freedom in a system that has kept us oppressed for over 157 “free” years, WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH! (but it’s a start, recognition is step 1 in the right direction).
This is a reminder, folks. Do not expect to celebrate Juneteenth and have your fun this weekend if you do not plan to keep addressing the issues at hand next week on Monday morning and moving forward. The last remaining enslaved African-Americans in the Confederacy may have been freed, but our brothers and sisters, who are locked behind bars for a crime they DID NOT commit are not free. The brothers and sisters, who have died because of police brutality and racial inequality are free in spirit but they were not free to live their lives as citizens. The delay behind our freedom that led to Juneteenth itself shows us that “nobody is free until everyone is free.” Today, we need to celebrate our roots and embrace our blackness. We represent the excellence of America; we are the resilient ones who in the face of adversity keep pressing forward to get it done, we are black! You better say it loud! I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD! #NoJusticeNoPeace #BlackLivesMatter #EqualityInAmerica
Later today, I will be posting a more extensive blog that explores and celebrates our African-American history and heritage with displays of various black excellence from our engineers and scientists to our entrepreneurs to our lawyers and political figures to our creative artists, poets, musicians, actors and actresses. So stay tuned and check it out here at 4 p.m. ET
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- Continue educating yourself and others about Black history and Anti-racist/fascist teachings
- Shop and support Black-owned Businesses – New York, Georgia and other states
- Maintain and sustain this energy for BLACK LIVES MATTER all year long and forward
- Donate to the Equal Justice Initiative
- Donate to the Grassroots Law Project
- Donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- What is Juneteenth?, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
- Juneteenth – The 155th year holiday, CBS This Morning
- Juneteenth Explained, Vox
JUNETEENTH UPDATE, 2022:
Looking for ways to celebrate Juneteenth? Read this article by CNN (6/15/22) listing the top 5 ways to celebrate and serve Juneteenth.