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Lessons from History: Juneteenth in the new Era

Did you hear? Juneteenth is now a federal holiday in the United States. President Biden made this official Thursday June 17, 2021. Most federal employees have gotten a day off work in celebration of the new nationally adopted holiday. Let’s take a look at the history of Juneteenth and what it means for us now. Scroll to read more!

As we know, the Emancipation Proclamation was created to abolish slavery throughout the United States. When the Civil War ended, slaves would be freed from the harsh control of their white owners. However, this only sounded great on paper. In fact, it wasn’t until June 19th, 1865 that slaves in Galveston, Texas would receive the news that they were indeed free. This was two and a half years after the Civil War had ended. Our ancestors decided to celebrate June 19th in memory of Black liberation in the United States.

While recognizing Juneteenth on the federal level is such a great feeling to have, we are still not being seen and heard. We are still up against a racist justice system that holds Black bodies hostage for ridiculous crimes. We are still up against a white washed education system that constantly tries to erase our Black history every single day. We are still up against a health care system that truly believes we have a much higher pain tolerance than are white counterparts, thus leading to unnecessary Black lives taken so soon from us. We are still facing discrimination in the workplace, a widening racial wealth gap, the war on Black women, housing failure, and a multitude of other issues. Recognize the small wins for exactly what they are, small wins. Let us not take our eyes off the prize when fighting for social, economical, and political equity!

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