I’ve always been aware of Juneteenth but I’ve never done anything in particular to mark it. I’m sorry about that and it’s not something I’m proud of. For me and clearly for a lot of other people this is changing. I hope it can be a part of what perhaps – finally – will be a movement to change the way people of color, and specifically black people, are treated in our country.
I found this reflection on Juneteenth from Daria Hall particularly poignant. It’s short but worth reading if you have a moment. There are many other authentic voices online today talking about what the holiday means to them who are worth listening to as well. “There are deep parallels between the delay of democracy and emancipation reaching Black people in 1865 and the Black experience today, ” as Hall writes in her piece.
I don’t know what you’re doing today. Actually, maybe I do – I’ve watched too many people on Twitter and other platforms fall all over themselves to show how suddenly woke they are to something that has been celebrated in one way or another for almost 150 years. I hope you’ll make today about more than a personal social media moment.
I don’t care what you do today, but I hope it will be meaningful. Juneteenth isn’t just about a day in the calendar. It’s about the actions we take the other 364 days of the year to create meaningful change in our society. If we’ve learned anything new over the past few weeks since George Floyd’s murder, its that this change is too long in coming. And long overdue.