Juneteenth

“Freedom
The very time I thought I was lost, my dungeon shook and my chains fell off.

Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty.”

what beautiful words.

Many of you might not know that I have fought for the status of #juneteenth as a Federal holiday for about a decade now. What upset me the most – amidst the confusing “news” and “information” regarding this day’s status – was that we were NEVER taught about this day … we were never taught that it even existed. From primary school to junior high/high school (in our ~3? yrs?? of American History classes) straight through UNIVERSITY, this day was never iterated … even in classes ABOUT Black American Literature and its history. When my first smartphone showed a holiday on #19june (#june19), I was perplexed … but me being me, I had to look closer … and to this day i can remember sobbing just at the honesty and beauty of everything it symbolised. I shared this info with as many people as i could … and they too cried. But I could not understand how we had a day to celebrate a flag … but just a blip on a smartphone calendar marking the freedom of human beings – the emancipation that allowed that unimaginable heft of slavery on millions of lives and countless generations to be, at least theoretically, lifted. We are far from equality everywhere in the world … but ESPECIALLY in this country.
I wrote letters and made calls to politicians; I tweeted to as many “prominent” figures as I could identify … and although I received little response, the heft I have felt in my own heart felt lighter when this day became FORMALLY RECOGNISED.

What is more important than signifying the freeing of people stolen from their homes, shipped thousands of miles away in conditions even the poorest countries today couldn’t fathom, to be treated as mere property?? NOTHING.

I might not be as early and as deficated as many others who have fought so hard for this … andI acknowledge my privilege in this regard. I might not be an African-American, but I am, as WE ALL ARE, AMERICANS … and above all else we are #equal and #human … and the hope just in that shines a light on at least some of the darkness we see all around us. We are far from the ending of the fights for equality for every marginalised group … but at least now we have made a step in the right direction.

#happyjuneteenth #juneteenth #equality #equalityforall #loveforallpeople #celebrate #freedom and #hope

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