We celebrated Juneteenth in several ways this weekend and wanted to share some of that with you. It was a fun time over breakfast and dinner. How could such a sharing be called “fun”? When you share something this serious with friends around a table with food you can talk about much that you might not broach otherwise. Try a Juneteenth dinner! Or a Juneteenth breakfast.
What is Juneteenth? See a portion of the article that follows written by Zeba Blay for the Huntington Post to find out.
Voices Culture Writer, The Huffington Post
It took two whole years after President Abraham Lincoln declared the abolition of slavery on January 1, 1863, for the end of one of the darkest chapters in American history to take hold.
The Emancipation Proclamation marked the end of the legalized institution of slavery in America, but in the small town of Galveston Island, Texas, black slaves had been carrying on their lives of bondage and subjugation, oblivious to the fact that they were actually free.
On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger and his band of Union soldiers (who had been traveling throughout the South for two years spreading the word) arrived at Galveston Island to tell the last remaining slaves in the United States that they were finally free.
The day became known as “Juneteenth,” a kind of Independence Day for African-Americans, a day of celebration and remembrance. Juneteenth is a state holiday in Texas, and is officially celebrated in 43 states in America, usually with parades, barbecues and memorial ceremonies.
But Juneteenth isn’t recognized as a federal holiday (though attempts have been made), and for that reason few people get to publicly celebrate it or are even aware of its existence and legacy. And that’s a shame, because Juneteenth is an opportunity for black people to truly celebrate all that they’ve overcome through the power of community.
One aspect of Emancipation, which we included in the Nuneteenth Celebration was the law suit which made intermarriage – marriage between Black and White in the United States – legal. The Loving Case. Click on the above and you can read about it from Time.com
250 to 700 Blacks murdered in East St. Louis by an angry White mob. Angry about what? This happened in 1917 – does this look similar to some of what is happening today? Only today it is not so egregious – only 50 or so being killed by those who feel their identities as “better than’ threatened, but it happens far more frequently.
Like drugs, which were considered a “ghetto” problem during the last and previous generations, that problem was ignored and wrapped up into the negative Black stereotype. Not until the drug traffic expanded into the upper-class White ghettoes did it come onto the front pages and get far more attention. I have yet to hear these killings being called “White on White” shootings, bombings or massacres. Starting with Oklahoma they most certainly could have.
As long as these shootings and massacres happened in the Black ghetto, they were ignored. And called “Black on Black” crimes. They are now front page because they are now happening all over. Nothing will eliminate them until we stop trying to blame one group for what obviously is a false claim against them and work together to bring about a society which does not have as its first need – proving its superiority over another group and parading out its anger, today against its own, when that artificially created superiority is threatened. Is it an accident that most of the people doing these killings are Young White Males – mostly from the far right? Not the ISIS far right, but the American far right. When our response is to obfuscate and cast blame on others, these killings will continue. What do those Young White Males have in common? They perceived themselves as being outside the “White Privileged” class and were treated as such by the small group in which they functioned – their school, etc.
Do we want to stop these killings or do we prefer them to continue and escalate because we can use them to increase and hold in sanctity “White Privilege.” We are now trying to claim these killings are being done by “the other” and are trying to use that to turn this country into another Nazi Germany – and we are beginning to succeed. When a Donald Trump becomes a presidential candidate – whether he wins or not – clearly the forces of evil are succeeding. We either step back and let it happen or we take part in promoting the mythology that they are being done by the unwashed masses. Currently, that group is defined as Muslims. If that continues the definition of that group will expand to encompass other minorities – one group at a time.
Was it Martin Luther King, Jr. who said – if they come for you in the morning, they will be back for me in the afternoon?
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