America will not be the land of the free until all citizens are truly “free.”
While Juneteenth commemorates the abolition of slavery in the 1800s, it was not until 2021 that it was designated as a federal holiday.
This is not a food or travel blog, but as an African American Male Blogger, I believe it is vital for me to express my viewpoints.
In this blog, I’ll explain why everyone should celebrate Juneteenth.
What Is June teenth on June 19th
Juneteenth is short for June nineteenth (June 19th), became a federal holiday, officially signed into law by President Biden on 6/19/2021.
This public holiday pays respect to the end of slavery in the United States in 1865.
Brief History of Juneteenth
In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln to free all black slaves in the Confederate states.
However, the proclamation only applied to states that were under confederate control.
This created a bit of the problem because blacks were still being treated inhumane. Texas was one of these states.
1865 Declaration of Freedom
However, after much fight, bloodshed and tears, General Grander in 1865 declared freedom for over 250, 000 enslaved black people in Galveston, Texas.
Later that year, Slavery was eradicated and freedom reigned for black people through the adoption of the 13th amendment.
Freed Slaves were excited about this great news. They celebrated what was called “Jubilee Day” on June 19 with food, music and prayer.
These 3 forms of celebration, to date, are still part of our cultural norms at events in the black community.
Years later in 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. (History.com)
“Juneteenth is a time to commemorate the anniversary of the delayed news of freedom reaching the enslaved Black folks in Galveston, Texas.
Today, we remember that struggle for freedom as we reflect on how far we’ve come as a country—and on the work that remains undone.” —Barack Obama
The Juneteeth holiday celebrates its one-year anniversary today, June 19, 2022.
It also happens to be Father’s Day. To all the fathers, a happy Juneteenth Father’s Day.
Even though Juneteeth commemorates the abolition of slavery, I feel that everyone, regardless of race, color, or ethnicity, should observe the holiday.
Not everyone, however, should celebrate it in the same way.
With this country’s terrible racial past of slavery, African Americans should rejoice in our freedom, how far we’ve come as a community.
We now have confidence in the opportunities for continued financial progress and affluence.
How Should You Celebrate Juneteenth?
For people outside of the black community, Juneteenth should be commemorated as a memorial of our forefathers’ pain and bloodshed, rather than as an attempt to erase the legacy of our ancestors’ struggle for freedom in return for a joyous message of racial progress.
More white people should band together to combat the terrible forces of greed, inequality, and racial biases.
These have invaded and rooted themselves in our laws, policies, schools, churches, health-care system, and political initiatives.
Juneteenth is an annual commemoration of the freedom for which our ancestors gave their lives so that we can enjoy some measure of liberty today.
However, as President Obama stated today, there is still more work to be done.
While June 19th is a well-deserved day of leisure and celebration, everyone should be aware of the lingering effects of racism and wealth disparity in our society.
The United States will not be the land of the free until all citizens are financially, spiritually, and mentally liberated.
Juneteenth Food Facts
Did You Know:
The bloodshed of our enslaved ancestors is symbolized by the crimson red color in Water Melon, Cherries, Red Velvet Cake, and Red Drinks, often served at Juneteenth events.
So remember all the lives that were sacrificed for our freedom the next time you go to a Juneteenth celebration or a cookout.