Happy Juneteenth

Mark Bacon—Main Event Sports DC

Happy Juneteenth, to all Sisters and Brothers celebrating today. A glorious day in our country’s history. Yet many do not know what the day actually commemorates.

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States. Its name is a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”, the date of its celebration. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in forty-five states.

Today it is observed primarily in local celebrations. Traditions include public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, singing traditional songs such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, and reading of works by noted African-American writers such as Ralph Ellison and Maya Angelou. Celebrations may include rodeos, street fairs, cookouts, family reunions, park parties, historical reenactments, or Miss Juneteenth contests. The Mascogos, descendants of Black Seminoles, of Coahuila, Mexico also celebrate Juneteenth.

In light of these facts, I am puzzled by something. What is puzzling to me is how many people celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. We are not all Irish. The vast majority of people out getting drunk and jack-assing are not Irish. It’s an excuse to celebrate, and sadly, over indulge. Other celebrations are held in our country throughout the year. Yet few days are as deserving as of honor and remembrance as Juneteenth. Deserving of honoring, getting together as communities and renewing our pledge to stop racism, inequality and injustice.

Yet, I look around. We have a pro-Nazi dictator, installed by Vladimir Putin. A despot in the White House who honors other brutal dictators and thugs, yet turns his back on our long established Allies, like Canada and Mexico. A morally and intellectually bankrupt “leader” who is fine with jailing babies. Brown babies. Because he hates Mexico. And like his followers, hates any non-white persons.

It is time we rightfully honor this great day, Juneteenth, and take to the streets to speak up for the oppressed in our country, speak up for those persecuted and vow never again to enslave people in our country, and put a halt to the enslavement of persons around the world. THAT is the American Ideal. The American Dream.

Speak out against injustice every day, and commemorate this day, Juneteenth, with our communities, friends and loved ones.

Fight the power, Brothers and Sisters! Happy Juneteenth!!

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