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Juneteenth is for America - The Galveston County Daily News: Guest Columns

August 27, 2016

Juneteenth is for America

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 12:30 am

Understanding Juneteenth from the correct perspective creates an awareness that negates oppression. Lets face it, 246 years (1619 to 1865) of slavery created psychological problems for the oppressed and the oppressor that linger today.

When we think of this day as just a celebration marking the day when slaves in Texas heard the news of freedom, as some dictionaries define it, we lose the real value. Instead, when we see Juneteenth for what it is, a celebration of freedom, we expose ourselves to the racial problems that slavery created. Once we confront this reality, we can identify the problem areas in today’s society rooted in this period and overcome their negative aspects.

As with anything else, if you properly assess a problem and identify the obstacles, you are better equipped to solve them. Though it is challenging to admit a wrong and face it, when this happens, you are given the tools needed to overcome — and this is the treasure that Juneteenth provides.

It gives us an opportunity as a country to look at this wrong and say, “Hey, it happened, but we are going to embrace it and grow from it.”

No other celebration gives us this opportunity more than Juneteenth.

Through a deeper understanding of the history of slavery and racism, we can analyze the oppressive tactics of slavery to gain clarity and, through that clarity, awareness and empowerment follow. Awareness allows one to notice things in life that are oppressive in nature and allow better choices to be made to overcome these tactics.   

America should embrace Juneteenth and strive to understand the history of slavery and emancipation because it provides an awareness that births freedom; after all, this is the land of the free.

This celebration is especially important to all African-Americans.

While some may have views that will not allow them to embrace this commemoration of freedom, even those people are encouraged to embrace the celebration.

Juneteenth is for America. Let’s all celebrate!

Isaac Fanuiel IV is a filmmaker, activist and speaker, and lives in Texas City.


At a glance

“The New Juneteenth,” a film by Isaac Fanuiel IV will be shown at the Holocaust Museum in Houston at 6:45 p.m. Thursday. The museum’s Juneteenth event is from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday

Information the film is available at www.thenewjuneteenth.com