As an African American, I’m very proud to celebrate Juneteenth!
Just to give you a little history of how Juneteenth came to be, President Abraham Lincoln originally freed slaves by signing the Emancipation Proclamation into law, January 1,1863. Unfortunately, some were not very happy. No matter how much we try to ignore or not want to talk about it, racism existed back then and still does today.
Even after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, the state of Kentucky and Delaware didn’t acknowledge it until, June 19, 1865, and that’s when the last slaves were officially freed.
I never understood how a person could hate someone because of the color of their skin.
My mom, who was born in the 30’s, would tell us Super Cooper children the story of how her mother would go down south to visit relatives, but she couldn’t go. She couldn’t go because my grandmother feared for my mom. Back then, she was young, innocent, and naive to the evil of racism. If you would say or do the wrong thing in the presence of white people, who were deemed to be superior back then, you would be in a lot of trouble.
At the golden age of 89, my mom now speaks of how happy she is to witness a change where black people can live, work, and do as anyone else. And, although happy of change, she still reminds us to “stay woke” for racism is still alive. She also encouraged us to get a good education; she believes it is the best way to fight racism.
Although, Juneteenth has been celebrated by many for decades, it was not an official holiday until it was signed into law in 2021 by President Biden. It is now looked upon as a national holiday.
I’m also very much aware that even though, Juneteenth is an official holiday, some still aren’t happy about it. I think some are still caught up in the mindset of keeping the black population suppressed. But I also know, that as a black woman, I would join, fight, and die for my right before I let anyone suppress or keep me down. I’m just keeping it real.
I also must give notice to a nation of new thinkers. Those who are not black and standing with us to fight for what’s right.
The subject of race is often difficult to discuss. It makes people feel uncomfortable, but often to feel uncomfortable is the only way to get things done.
There’s a whole new generation of young African Americans, including my great nieces, and nephews, that I would like to see do even better than I’ve done. I want their possibilities and opportunities to be endless. Because of Juneteenth, I believe they will be. Matter fact, I know they will because I’m speaking it into existence.
By the way, because my mom was discouraged to go when she was young, guess where us Super Coopers go whenever we want? If you guess the south, you’re right. That’s the power of Juneteenth!