There’s been a lot of talk around Juneteenth, but how much do you really know? One of the most important things behind any movement, besides passion and desire for justice, is education. By learning the history, defining moments and true conflict behind social movements, we can credibly fight for change by informing the uninformed and, more importantly, the misinformed. But Juneteenth isn’t the only important date you should consider here.
Historically, June 19th marks the true end of slavery and bondage for the Black community in America in 1865. More than 150 years ago, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, declaring that all slaves should be forever free, but it wasn’t until mid-1865 that news of the abolishment reached Galveston, Texas, the site where the last Black slaves were freed. The speed of speech might have been a sign of the times then, but it’s a bit ironic that the term “forever free” took two and a half years to take effect.
Nonetheless, Juneteenth is not only an anniversary of what once happened but should be celebrated moving forward as a reminder of the times we are in now. Black celebrities, such as Usher, and politicians like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, along with millions of multi-racial Black lives supporters, have come together to see that this date be instated as a national holiday. Because we’re fortunate to live in a time when it doesn’t take two and a half years for us to learn about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or the other countless injustices happening around our country. It doesn’t take two and a half years for people to take action either, which is all the more reason for us to act now, peacefully, so that the healing can continue to spread in order for Black lives to not only matter but be celebrated.
There is, unfortunately at this time, a massive divide in America, but we can all agree on the right to live freely without the fear of losing our life in broad daylight with another life kneeling it (or at the least, we like to think we can agree on that). With that said, we implore you to support Black lives and celebrate Juneteenth and commemoration of Black independence, and we suggest doing so by joining a peaceful protest or starting one.
Photo: diego_cervo (Envato Elements), Cover: Rawpixel (Envato Elements)
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