Juneteenth is a celebration of a HUGE BATTLE WIN in the war for freedom for (ADOS) African Descendents of Slavery and/or African Americans. The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free Black folks. June 19, 1867(?8) didn’t free all Black people. It was a MAJOR battle win in our war for freedom. It is the spirit, and with honor, our enslaved ancestors who survived…that we celebrate Juneteenth.
The battle for the win for ADOS to be identified as humans and not property. Our ancestors survived a period of enslavement, being classified as 3/5th of human beings and considered no more important than the chattel of farmers in these “free” countries of the United States of America. *Black folks are celebrating a specific type of freedom on Juneteenth; the freedom of being legally classified as non-human and the property of other humans.
As a comparison, Independence Day (July 4th) celebrates the complete freedom of the United States (those who were classified as United States Citizens) from the British Monarchy. The American Revolution completely freed the USA from England and its oppression and rules. Juxtaposed, Juneteenth is not the day all Black folks got freedom from the oppression of White supremacy. For example, the Civil Rights Movement, anti-lynching laws, Brown vs. The Board of Education, police brutality and murder, red-lining, systemic racism, stereotypes, lack of opportunities, and I can go on and on.
We have a long way before we are truly free and equal in America.
Further complicating Juneteenth is that while it is a celebration for ADOS (African Descendents of Slaves), it is also another example of the institutional harm that White folks have inflicted on Blacks. Juneteenth is literally celebrating the enslaved Black folks getting their freedom, THREE YEARS AFTER THE CIVIL WAR WAS WON! The Texas slaveowners just didn’t tell them for THREE EFFIN YEARS and continued to work them for free. (and, of course, there was no reparations paid to those folks who worked illegally for three extra years; just a parade!)
I am not saying Juneteenth is not a day of celebration. It is!
While Juneteenth is a celebration of one of our “biggest battles wins” against racism; Juneteenth is not a celebration of winning “the war” for Black freedom and liberation.
We still have a lot of fighting to do in this war against Black folks.
So, on Saturday for Juneteenth, let’s enjoy ourselves!
Let’s celebrate! Let’s eat! Let’s dance!
And, then, let’s get back to work. Our war for Black freedom in America is not over.
*The 13th Amendment didn’t outlaw ALL slavery. It has an exemption for people who are incarcerated. Almost immediately, the former slave owners passed laws that being “unemployed” was punished by prison. And, guess what those prisoners’ unpaid jobs were? If you guessed working on the very plantations they were enslaved, you have guessed correctly—sneaky bastards.
*Instead of purchasing Juneteenth merchandise from Walmart and Amazon, I suggest supporting Black owned businesses. And/or, supporting direct payment reparations for Black folks who have immediate financial need through the wonderful program ran by Didi Delgado: Click HERE for the link to donate!