Today is Juneteenth, a holiday that is just starting to get the recognition it deserves really this year. Honestly, I didn’t know all that much about it myself until this year as well, though I at least had heard of it (unlike many of the friends I spoke with). Which is startling, since the holiday started being celebrated back in 1865 (though just as a Texas holiday).
I feel this year, it has that much more meaning to it, too. With so many racist sentiments tainting the air and the fight for equality reaching an intense fervor never before tapped, this year’s Juneteenth is going to be celebrated much harder. And it deserves to be given this recognition that it never got. I know for the first time in my lifetime that I can remember, local banks are closing early, businesses are letting employees work only half days.
Slaves were liberated nearly two hundred years ago, but still blacks and other minorities are continually treated as second-class citizens by the general populace. This bigotry has only seen an increase in the last few years. There is only so much one person can do, but standing together as they fight for their recognition is just something little we can do. Also, spreading information and calling out others for their racist behavior is a start.
Celebrations of course have to be docile this year due to the ongoing pandemic, but I hope everyone who needs this holiday is able to use it. As a white person, I haven’t suffered racism, but I have seen it first hand, and I have seen the effects it has on a person. I’ll stand until we all stand equal.
For more information on Juneteenth and its history, I found this website that had a lot of easy-to-sift through information: Juneteenth History.
I hope to continually arm myself with knowledge about social issues like this and find ways I can help support them.