“Hold those things that tell your history and protect them. During slavery, who was able to read or write or keep anything? The ability to have somebody to tell your story to is so important. It says: ‘I was here. I may be sold tomorrow. But you know I was here.” – Maya Angelou
“For the culture” with a fist pumped in the air is what everyone is chanting now but still there are so many people who are more public on Cinco de Mayo and the Fourth of July than they are on Juneteenth. In fact, many people have no clue what Juneteenth even is. So here’s a quick history or herstory lesson.
Juneteenth is the oldest known American celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865.
So let’s personalize it a little bit more. My grandmother is 70 and she along with her older siblings experienced picking cotton to make a living; forfeiting their childhood and educational freedom on sunny days to work! While she does have a little high school education , she is still one of the smartest and wisest women around!
She wasn’t a slave but she was affected by the aftermath and I am very grateful for every bead of sweat that dripped down her back. She was one of many who unwillingly sacrificed her childhood so that I wouldn’t have to.
So today, I acknowledge every African American man, woman and child who unwillingly sacrificed their life, freedom and happiness during the time of slavery. I am grateful for the freedom and opportunities that I have access to because of those who walked in shackles, cried themselves to sleep at night and suffered inhumane treatment every single day!