TODAY IS ‘JUNETEENTH,’ also known as Freedom Day or Jubilee Day. It is the day in 1865 that, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had freed African American slaves in the Confederate states, they were finally, officially proclaimed to be free in the last and most remote slave state, Texas. Its meaning is therefore powerful.
I am sad to say that, personally, as a white American, I was barely cognizant of this important, historical date until this year, with the awareness and publicity attendant to the George Floyd movement for social justice. Many of us still have much to learn, to absorb, to understand. There is now a campaign to make ‘Juneteenth’ a National Holiday. A wonderful idea. An overdue idea. It is still our work to celebrate freedom, to work for justice, and to strive to create a more perfect union. Happy Juneteenth. Happy Jubilee Day!