June 19, 1865, the news was delivered that slavery was over. Hallelujah! Freedom at last! The problem is there was a bit of a delay. Two years, in fact, since President Abraham Lincoln had signed the executive order of the Emancipation Proclamation. Talk about showing up late for the party.
It wasn’t until more recently that states began recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday, but as of today there are only four states that don’t recognize it as such. Earlier this year, New Hampshire joined the state-sponsored club of acknowledging American history as it indeed was.
Dearest Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, what’s taking you so long? Are you still sorting through your censorship records to see if it’s worth your time? Or maybe Black Americans just aren’t worth your consideration. I tell you what. I’ll spend my vacation money in your state as soon as you lift your ban on truth. Deal?
What’s more confusing than states being stuck in 1865 is having a whole federal government that refuses to follow the course of action of 46 states and declare Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, as a Federal holiday.
I have an idea, though. Since the current president has built his administration’s platform on undoing all that President Obama did or going in the opposite direction, I think this would be an excellent cause for him to support and influence.
Dearest Donald Trump, would you consider making Juneteenth a federal holiday? It would really piss Obama off that he didn’t think of it first. Come on. “The Blacks” will love ya! </ end sarcasm>
By the way, Juneteenth does not mute or cancel the 4th of July. One has very little to do with the other, besides the fact that they both boast emancipation from a government’s stronghold. One has to do with the thirteen American colonies gaining independence from the rule of Great Britain (I like to think of this as the original Brexit). The other has to do with the American government finally proclaiming that slavery was illegal and, in theory, Black people were free.
Juneteenth is slowing gaining popularity and maybe one day, people of all cultures will celebrate freedom from slavery with expressions of debauchery and consuming copious amounts of alcohol, much like St Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo. But I digress.
I give thanks to the ancestors that I am free. Happy Juneteenth, all.