The holiday observance on June 19th commemorates the abolishment of slavery of the African Americans. It is celebrated to the emancipation of about four million slaves. However, many were not aware of this freedom for a certain period. It was made official when Union General Gordon Granger issued an order to free them; thus, there is a holiday celebrating emancipation in the United States. Besides, this day also represents the delay of freedom and justice when dealing with people of color. The people of color used to face imprisonment, disparate mass incarcerations, disproportionate housing policies, and fewer economic investments (Britannica, 2021).
Looking at the recent brutal incidents of police violence and racial profiling, progress has been made to overcome race-related issues, but the considerable barriers continue to impede the progress. However, the barriers indeed last until the United States begins to grapple with its history. Juneteenth is an opportunity to understand the history and associated problems through the eyes of enslaved people. Observing the holiday on this day can help bring America closer to embracing ideals of freedom and equality for all.
Juneteenth is about celebrating the emancipation of enslaved people. It is observed to commemorate the group of slaves that they have been set free and can cherish the fruits of freedom and equality. It has been a memorable and historical moment in the history of African Americans (Cherelus, 2020). This date is tied to the history of slavery. It has been understood as an African American thing; thus, many outside the African American community does not understand it, which needs to be known. Increased awareness of Juneteenth is crucial to make the population familiar with the experiences of slavery.
Juneteenth commemorates the Black people’s experiences of slavery as a proud thing instead of something to be ashamed of. People need to know that the shame for stereotypes around slavery, being used to humiliate African Americans, must be stopped (Britannica, 2021). It is vital to understand the associated trauma and the legacy of slavery to empathize with the people of color. It is because the racial past is connected to slavery as a whole. Also, it helps to get the narratives behind slavery that are still associated with a purpose used to oppress African Americans today.
Moreover, it is vital to acknowledge the ways associated with slavery that bring wealth to the White Americans. Until the narrative remains unknown, it will not be possible to obliterate prejudice, ultimately making African Americans continue to suffer through the consequences. This memorial Juneteenth national holiday assists in acknowledging the issues that are tied with the problems of slavery to date. Besides, it is not about observing holidays but creating consensus around the day to make the change. It can be an excellent opportunity to bring the desired change by bringing people up to their proper positions regardless of any discrimination.
Britannica, T. (2021). Juneteenth. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Juneteenth
Cherelus, G. (2020). This is how we Juneteenth. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/article/juneteenth-celebration-history.html