The Connection

Juneteenth: Celebrate Freedom

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Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) became a federal holiday in the United States on June 17, 2021, under Joe Biden presidential administration. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation or freedom of enslaved African American in the United States, as declared on that day in 1865 when the federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops arrived a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. It’s now 2023, let’s look at the definitions of both emancipation and freedom according to the Oxford dictionary and check our nations progress: emancipation - the fact or process of being set free from legal, social, or political restrictions; liberation; the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved; and freedom - the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. From my perspective, as a middle-aged African American, straight, Christian, female, who has lived her entire life in America, these definitions do not ring true in America, yet. I maintain hope and conviction that America will someday be the land of the free. Consider these individuals, events, and words, within your thoughts and feelings: Martin Luther King Jr., George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, Ahmaud Abrury, January 20, 2009, January 6, 2021, insurrection, minimization of women, social and systemic disparities and barriers, wealth gap, anti-racism, intersectionality, diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, community, love, peace, unity, and personal accountability.  Have you made the choice to be an ally or advocate for advancing diversity, equity and belonging for all in America, and specifically for all women in NAWIC? My hope for all people in the United States, is that the spirit of freedom will resonate, and everyone will come to celebrate and cultivate the culture of Blacks and African Americans in America. I encourage and challenge you to join me in practicing continuous self-refection, self- awareness, and self-accountability, and taking actions to foster peaceful, equitable, community for all cultures in America. 


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