Today is June 19th (aka Juneteenth). It may seem like an unremarkable day, but I assure you it is not. The fact that its significance is not widely known says a lot about how our nation deals with its own dark moments.
The original Juneteenth occurred on June 19, 1865. The Civil War had ended months earlier, the Emancipation Proclamation signed years before, but it was on this day that all enslaved people in the United States were finally emancipated. That’s huge. Which makes it even more confounding that more people don’t know about it.
It’s human nature to avoid unpleasantness. But here’s the thing, if you don’t acknowledge a wound it can’t heal. If we don’t address a problem we can’t learn from it. We can’t grow and move forward if we don’t address the past. We’re doomed to repeat history.
Given our country’s current situation, it feels like we haven’t learned anything at all.
Whether they came here against or of their own free will, our nation does not have a stellar track record when it comes to accepting newcomers.
Juneteenth serves as a reminder that you can’t change the past, but you can change the present and work towards a better future.
So this Juneteenth celebrate freedom, redemption, and the power of change.
More on the Story: PBS
…just for fun: