Juneteenth, which is short for June Nineteenth, marks the day when federal troops took control over Galveston, Texas to ensure that all slaves be freed. This occurred in 1865: over two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth did not become a federal holiday until June 17th, 2021.
In the height of Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020, protests erupted all over the country, due to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. We as a people stood up and demanded action.
While the deeming of Juneteenth as an official federal holiday is only a small part of the movement toward racial equality and equity, I believe it to be a strong reminder of the power of the people. When we come together—in conscious awareness with clear intentions, in unity, in protesting—we are unstoppable.
I have been speaking and writing a lot about self-agency and self-sovereignty, leading to the strengthening of us as individuals, but more importantly, as a group. Thereby giving us Collective Agency.
“Juneteenth to me means a lot. When we think about the African Diaspora and the history rooted in America and freedom for African Americans it serves a reminder that there are people before us that have fought for liberation. It shows that even after the emancipation proclamation was signed in 1863 African Americans still were not liberated. It redefined what liberation meant for the African American community here in the US. It showed that our liberation comes from us. Liberation lies within us and will not be formed from the current institutional structures we have in place for it never has.”
~Fatimata Cham, Activist and Poet
Juneteenth represents freedom. It represents the triumph of the will of the people. It represents every African American, past and present. This Juneteenth celebrate for how far we have come and prepare yourself for how far we have yet to go.
Embrace your inner self-agency and self-sovereignty to strengthen our Collective Agency!