As a descendant of enslaved people in the United States, including extended family members held in bondage in Galveston, Texas, I have been following grassroots efforts to make Juneteenth a national holiday for years. It has finally come to fruition.
Much to my surprise, when I saw the long-awaited news of a victory; that the resolution making Juneteenth National Independence Day a U.S. federal holiday passed unanimously in the Senate, I also saw a slew of “negative” takes on social media Wednesday morning when I woke up.
The list of “why nots” included the laundry list of ills we face as Black folks living in white supremacy land. I get it. What I don’t get, is the shortsightedness of Black media pundits who are eager to pile on and dismiss this victory as meaningless at a time when states are passing legislation to ban teaching enslavement history.
Yes, I know our voting rights are under attack. Yes, I know the effects of systemic inequality on our people. Yes, we need reparations. Yes, I’ve had partners and friends murdered by police and others who are still doing time for fighting back.
We have to use every tool we have to continue to fight back and win. To dismiss a Juneteenth holiday is to negate a tool we can use to both organize around and educate with.
They don’t want us to teach about 1619, racism, or slavery; A federal holiday makes it much harder for state supremacists to erase. Today, I want to celebrate and thank Mrs. Opal Lee for her efforts, along with those of the millions of people who pushed for this day.
In case you haven’t met her—the Fort Worth Library conducted this oral history interview with her in 2018.
Now, the work begins. If you don’t know the history—learn it. If you do, educate someone you know. The history of enslavement in this nation is foundational and has shaped where we are today.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.