Juneteenth, a celebration
Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or Juneteenth Independence Day. Celebrating the end of slavery in the United States annually on June 19th. Juneteenth this year will be celebrated on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
On June 19, 1865 soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas to deliver the news that the Civil War had ended and everyone who was enslaved would now be free. This was 2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation which means it took over 2 years for approximately 250,000 Texan slaves to learn their freedom had been ordered by the government. There was absolutely no way for some to even know they were free. There was no internet or social media to stay informed. These are things that we may take for granted in this day and age. This is why Juneteenth and the importance of it should be recognized by all African Americans. Ms. Opal Lee’s fight is to make Juneteenth a national holiday and I am in full support of her mission. No longer should Juneteenth fall short of getting its just due. Although this is not the end of our fight. This change would be a part of history as well as a step in the right direction. We are still fighting to be treated equally to this day. Ms. Opal's mission is a reminder to all of us to remain persistent and steadfast when trying to create change.
I have always known about Juneteenth but never took the time to sit down and research the full history. Since working with Ms. Opal and her team I have become more aware of just how much hard work and time she truly puts into spreading awareness about Juneteenth. While reading and hearing more about her journey and the trials and tribulations she has had to endure, I created a goal of my own: to help Ms. Opal achieve her goal of making Juneteenth a national holiday. I hope everyone gets to meet her one day and really takes in the knowledge, love, and passion she has for everyone she meets.
I think my biggest take from Juneteenth is unity. Ms. Opal is very big on unity and working with everyone.
She doesn’t care if you’re Hispanic, Caucasian or African American. She just wants equality and to educate people about the celebration that is Juneteenth.
Below I have included a short statement she made with New York Times and a few links to learn more. Thanks for reading and hope to see you at the Festival!
“We have simply got to make people aware that none of us are free until we’re all free, and we aren’t free yet. There’s so many disparities. You know, we need some decent education and some decent jobs that pay money, and we need health care and all kinds of things and if people would just get together and address these disparities, we’d be well on our way to being the greatest country in the world.” - Opal Lee