I went with my cousin who is also the mother of biracial children. I hate to admit it but I had no clue what Juneteenth was. I remember being completely at home in the St. Joseph community and hearing Dr. King’s I have a dream speech.
The food and the music were great, and the celebration was one I felt welcomed to participate in. I don’t think I have ever been made to feel so welcome. I have never heard such powerful speeches and seen such heroic people who overcame struggles I couldn’t fathom.
This was an awakening moment of the culture and how very important it was for me to educate myself in order to educate my daughter. I have participated in all of the cultural events I could find since, and I try to arm myself with facts for the questions will come.
Juneteenth is a very important holiday in the black community and for parents of biracial children involve their children in.
Juneteenth is one of the oldest known celebrations in the African American community. This was a celebration that began soon after the Civil War ended. This is a very family oriented event, and it gets more diverse as the years go on. With that being said it does embrace the past, slavery, the injustices suffered by black ancestors as well as the future of the African American community.
It does not forget the past, but it uses the past to empower future generations.
Stories from days gone by are recounted. Juneteenth does not ignore the time of slavery but it acknowledges the wrongs done as well as raises awareness for the descendants while also focusing on things like the importance of education and personal growth. The Juneteenth holiday marks the end of slavery.
The celebrations were in early years a way for former slaves to reconnect with one another, remember and also to celebrate their freedom. The early celebrations were held in Galveston Texas on June 19th marking the day their freedom was announced. In the years since the Juneteenth celebrations have become more diverse, larger, more complex and spread throughout the US, but they have not lost the heartfelt meaning surrounding the event.
Some people are in shorts and casual tops while others will dress to the nines because slave laws prohibited it. They celebrate with BBQ, music, fishing and more in public parks and recreation centers. As parents of bicultural children I believe it is our duty to allow them to embrace this part of who they are and where they are headed.
You can count on a Juneteenth celebration of some type being held close to you. There is no reason why we cannot take our children to this essential celebration to embrace, remember and overcome. Even if it is a small celebration Juneteenth should be embraced and remembered in the lives of our children because their history is as embedded in the slavery years as any other. ~Spring Lee
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