Juneteenth Reflections

Juneteenth Reflections
Gerri Harris, DE&I Committee Co-Chair

I asked my 12-year-old granddaughter, “what is special about June 19?”
She replied, “That’s mom’s birthday… and… and it’s a holiday to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.”
Do you, your children, and your grandchildren know why June 19 is special in the United States? 

A pen stroke on June 17, 2021, by the hands of Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States, sealed June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day. Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) commemorates the end of slavery in the United States as the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying, “Justice too long delayed is justice denied,” which rings true in noting that the arrival of the troops came a full two-and-a-half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Juneteenth honors the end of slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. 
Carter G. Wilson said, “If you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions.” Some people in America think wealth and prosperity are restricted to a select few in America; I choose not to believe that. Instead, I believe… “As a man or woman thinketh, so it is!” Both are true if you think you cannot or believe you can!   
As members of NAWIC and citizens in America, let’s work hard to eliminate social and economic marginalization. Instead, let’s give ourselves permission to embrace and honor all humanity and celebrate and cultivate the rich contributions and culture of Blacks and African Americans in America. Let’s practice continuous self-awareness, accountability, and actions to foster a peaceful and equitable commUNITY for all cultures in America.