We live in a time where almost anything we want to know and everything we don’t want to know is online or on social media. There are search engines that will have a plethora of knowledge at your fingertips as soon as you hit send. Yet, there are so many people who don’t know about Juneteenth and probably don’t care to know about it.
While out and about today in the Atlanta area, a gentleman of Asian descent shared with me that he went to the bank yesterday, and it was closed. Mind you, he was off. He was clearly upset by its closing. He asked someone about the closing and found out that it was a federal holiday. He then proceeded to tell me that the new holiday is called “Freedom Day”. I corrected him, which is my nature, in an authoritative tone. I also told him to look it up after giving him a brief explanation. Juneteenth, June 19, 1865, happened when the slaves finally found out they were free a whole two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. You don’t know about? Google it.
This is a country built by my captured, stolen, enslaved ancestors, but those in power don’t want you or children to learn about it in school. They want to tell the lie that slaves, my ancestors, were free after January 1, 1863. Here we are some 157 years later finally celebrating their actual, supposed freedom. Some will take the day off from work but won’t know the reason behind it. Some will be inconvenienced by the lack of openings at the bank and the post office. Some will watch a program on public television until it bores them, and many don’t care to learn about it. Think about how folks are fighting tooth and nail against Critical Race Theory.
The thing about being Black in America is that we still are seen as less than in the eyes of many who have less melanin than us. However, they want our music, our culture, even the shades of our brown, but they don’t want our struggles or care to even Google to find about the days we commemorate or celebrate. We, as Blacks, are expected to know or learn about other cultures and classes of people. We built this land. Do we have to keep educating others on us? Is that our job? If they would take the chance to know us instead of just copying us or ridiculing us, others could learn a wealth of information about the history of our people. Juneteenth is not Freedom Day, and freedom comes at a very high price.
Pamela E. Bowles, Contributor.
Daughter, Sister, Child of God, Friend, Mother, Speech-Pathologist, Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Caretaker and the list goes on.