White folks probably don’t know the significance of Juneteenth, also called FREEDOM DAY, JUBILEE DAY, CEL-LIBERATION DAY, EMANCIPATION DAY. Why should they? How many of us knew about Cinco de Mayo before Taco Bell came to the USA? We, as a race, are extremely culture insensitive.
JUNETEENTH commemorates a day important in the history of African-Americans. On June19th, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation which had been issued in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln was read to enslaved African-Americans in Texas by Gordan Granger, a Union general of the Civil War. Texas was home to more than 250,00 enslaved blacks.
“This year’s celebration takes place during a moment of national crisis. There is a collective sense of frustration and devastation as we confront the entrenchment of racism and oppression in our systems of government, education, housing, voting, labor, health care and justice that endures more than a century after the last remaining enslaved Black Americans were freed.” splcenter.org
Millions of white Americans will join hands and link arms and connect spiritually with our brothers and sisters of color in solidarity. We would like to believe that we do not notice skin color. That is untrue. We do see the differences, but what we do in our hearts with those differences determines who we will be as a nation. Our country’s future is at a crossroads with an issue which should have been conquered with the Emancipation Proclamation.
Today, Juneteenth, let’s join in this celebration of freedom. Tomorrow, June 20th, let’s flood social media, let’s counter any gatherings of disruptive citizens who want to hold on to racist agendas with our own agenda of peace and brotherhood founded upon the words so proudly exclaimed in our Declaration Of Independence…..“all men are created equal.”
Tulsa, Oklahoma, will be the scene of political forces on June 20th which have given a national voice to the hatred and violence of white nationalism masquerading as conservative values in both politics and religion. We, proponents of nonviolence in actions of social justice, also have a voice which needs to be heard. Let those voices be ringing loud and clear as we envision a nation free of racial injustice and intolerance.