Maybe you’ve noticed Juneteenth in your Google calendar and have no idea what it is. I know that was me last year. I thought maybe it’s just another made up silly holiday until I looked it up and did some research. While I highly encourage each of you to do your own research and personal growth work, I’ll share with you some basic information on what Juneteenth is all about.

Today, Juneteenth, is America's true Independence Day in my opinion, though it's unfortunately not recognized as one nationally yet. I mean, white men and women were still holding African Americans as slaves in July 4, 1776 - so was America truly free? In my opinion, no. Just white people were free and America is made up of way more cultures than white.

Anyways, it was on this date (June 19, 1965) that slaves in Texas finally got the news that they were free (2.5 years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation was signed)! Still, this didn't mean all were immediately free. Some people were kept as slaves for many more years, whipped, beaten or shot as they tried to leave by their white masters. Others were finally able to be set free and headed towards their family in other parts of the country. They were all encouraged to keep quiet and stay working for their masters for a wage.

Today, Juneteenth is recognized in ~45 states and is celebrated annually, but also used as a time for reflection and to bring awareness to the imbalance of inequality in America today and modern day slavery (as there are still millions of victims around the world).

I think Juneteenth should be a national holiday that celebrates the beauty and diversity of ALL free Americans, don’t you?

janelle stormComment