JUNETEENTH | FEDERAL HOLIDAY!

Each year on June 19th within Texas there is the celebration of Juneteenth. This is the celebration that marks the ending of slavery. Wherein 1865 residents of Galveston, Texas, heard the reading of the emancipation proclamation. 2 and 1/2 years after its original declaration in 1663. What makes the celebration of 2021 different is that on June 17th 2021, President Biden signs into law to make Juneteenth an official federal holiday, which took immediate effect on June 18th.

President Biden signs into law to make Juneteenth an official federal holiday #ShaziaBlog #Juneteenth

This is a notable moment in history to gain national recognition for this history. Although I believe that this is a significant step to build inclusion at the federal level, I also wish that rhetorics within schools / learning institutions shift. Not to become those of hate perpetuating, and forms of “extremism.” There are many harsh histories that took place and that are still taking place for population segments.

It is important to note that slavery took place on a world-wide level and not just in America. Today we can think about the origins of slavery, where did slavery originate from? And how did slavery come to be in America. To understand that America was once a nation free from slaves. Today if I say this, I wonder how one would react ot not? Because it might be sought of as a negation of one’s history and ancestry linked to the system of slavery.

As this is a significant moment within history, I would like to acknowledge the Biden Administration efforts as now a piece of legislation. Seeing President Biden next to Opal Lee (89) reminded me of a neighbor of many years earlier. A woman of color / black woman, at the age of 106 would peer out of her bedroom window to watch me and the kids wait for the school bus. I remember offering to help shovel her daughter’s driveway who she lived with, and paying my respects when I learned of her death. Whilst this if a very fond memory, there are traumatic memories created from lived experiences, to note that when individuals say there is a lot more work to be done; this work could be to turn around one single disadvantaged kid. In other words, the work really continues with developing individuals, families and communities.

the work really continues with developing individuals, families and communities. #ShaziaBlog #Juneteenth

The establishment of this holiday is a first since Martin Luther King’s birthday. Further to note and hope for the recognition of the indigenous: the first people of the lands. The Spanish who discovered the Americas, the very first to establish working relations with the indigenous people, Las Casas who was famed for the conversions of the brutal treatments of the indigenous, and of course much more (Gibson, 2019). Which leads me to the conversation of black equity: Black equity is not complete without the integration of other minority and majority populations (Bensimon, 2007; Moll & Ruiz, 2002).

Black equity is not complete without the integration of other minority and majority populations #ShaziaBlog #Juneteenth

It is with these words I shared Line 4 and 13 (Please see image above) from the poem by Langston Hughes entitled: The Negro Speaks of Rivers, as a shared common element of hardship, struggle, the desire to survive, with the need to re-think present and future rhetorics to include integration. As well as to exemplify the ability of the arts to unite.

Langston Hughes … a shared common element of hardship, struggle, the desire to survive #ShaziaBlog #Juneteenth


Wishing everyone who celebrates and commemorates Juneteenth a time for reflection and peace. #Juneteenth #ShaziaBlog

Further Reading:

The New York Times | Biden Signs Law Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday

Related Blog Posts:

References:

Bensimon. E. M. (2007). The Underestimated Significance of Practitioner Knowledge in the Scholarship on Student Success. The Review of Higher Education, (30) 4, 441 – 469.

Gibson, C. (2019). EL NORTE The Epic and Forgotten History of Hispanic North America. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.

Moll, L. C., Ruiz, R. (2002). The Schooling of Latino ChildrenIn Suárez-Orozco, M. M, & Páez, M. M. (Eds.), Latinos Remaking America. (p. 362-374). LA, California: University of California Press. 

  • Image 1 – Created with CANVA.COM
  • Image 2 – Twitter Handle: @ABCWorldNews
  • Image 3 – Link

Notes: These thoughts were originally hand-written on June 18th 2021. It is important to note that whilst Opal Lee advocated to make Juneteenth a National Holiday, it is legislated as a federal holiday.

My Thoughts To Share With Love & Kindness! 🙂

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