I was standing in the checkout line in one of our community supermarkets when I overheard two African-American youths discussing Juneteenth.

Both youngsters had witnessed some of the events, but they did not understand how Juneteenth affected them. They hinted that there was no real explanation.

After listening, I realized that as a community and nation, we have missed the mark.

One of the youth said, “Old school, if things are so much better, why is it that so much hatred is aimed at President Obama?”

What could I say?

Even in our community, we do not have a major street or roadway named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Young blacks notice these things.

We are about to celebrate Independence Day, and we should. However, we should also discuss the fact that the patriots owned slaves.

We should acknowledge that the road to independence and freedom began in 1776. At that time, a republic was born, but there were men and women who were still enslaved.

In 1865, slavery was supposed to have ended, but it did not in the strictest sense because of segregation. Negroes were set free only to endure the horrors of segregation.

However, in our community, there were four brave settlers of The Settlement. They gave African-Americans the opportunity to thrive.

To celebrate Juneteenth in our community and not inform our local youth about this great historical fact is an injustice.

There are many historical stories that could be told if local settlers were given the opportunity. Until the story is told by some individuals who grew up and lived in one of our communities, the celebrations are cosmetic.

It is beneficial to hear the proclamation read, but there are historical stories that could be told to our youth. Each community has its own story. In The Settlement, there are men and women such as the Rev. D.N. Benford Sr., Robert Williams, Vera Bell Gary, Richard Taylor Sr., George Cash and others.

I do not believe that the 150th celebration should take place without the recognition of these Settlement pioneers. We should also include those educators who played a huge role in the progress of our African-American community. Our pastors, community leaders and public officials should make this happen.

There should be a celebration in the West Texas City- La Marque community in conjunction with the grand celebration. We owe this to our youth.

The Rev. James E. Daniels is founder and chairman of the Eagles’ Nest Community Organization.

(11) comments

Carlos Ponce

"After listening, I realized that as a community and nation, we have missed the mark. One of the youth said, 'Old school, if things are so much better, why is it that so much hatred is aimed at President Obama?'"
Yes, Rev Daniel, some have missed the mark and you missed a teachable moment.
What could you have said? "Perhaps people think President Obama is not doing a good job. It has nothing to do with his skin color. Look at the higher unemployment rate among African-Americans since he took office. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said "they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
"We all know that people are the same where ever we go, There is good and bad in everyone. We learn to live, and we learn to give, Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony."

Evelyn Clark

to Carlosponce, that is not what you and rest of the racist people have been saying this forum. I read all the hateful and mean spirit things, all the disrespect for (BLACK/ BROWN) people including the President of the GOOD OLD USA. If his skin was of another color there would be no NAME calling etc. You all forget we are people . Remember we are all God's children.

Carlos Ponce

mytoby, if you think President Obama is doing a good job, that is your opinion. I will not disrespect your views like you have disrespected me and my views. I happen to believe he is not doing a good job. My view is not based on his ancestry, race or heritage. It is not mean spirited nor disrespectful. It is based on his job performance. If you cannot accept that, that's your problem. May God Bless and grant you wisdom!

Evelyn Clark

Carlosponce, you are a very angry person . If anyone disagrees, they get all the old mean and nasty comments .. Now you have the nerve to talk about me having a problem with you. I feel sorry for you.

President is not worried about the name calling , birth place etc. What ever you say or try to do he will be president until his tern end. If those do nothing group in Washing would only do their jobs, more would get done and you know it. God takes care of everyone.
THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT OBAMA .[beam][beam]

Carlos Ponce

mytoby, I have scanned my comments and find no anger, no mean nor nasty comments. I recommend prayer for you. God Bless!

PD Hyatt

mytoby so going by your logic many were racist that hated GW Bush.... Is that correct or does that not go the other direction?

Evelyn Clark

It goes for anybody race, creed , or color. It is wrong to HATE and try to kill and do bodyly harm to anyone.

JBG JBG

Amen to not only the observations which Mr. Ponce so eloquently alluded to below, but allow me to go even further with other profound observations. Observing Juneteenth is okay and there is nothing wrong with it. I don't think it should be forced on anyone, just as I don't think Cinco De Mayo, or Ramadan should be forced on anyone. If it is dear to an individual, then by all means get out there,....celebrate it! Eat, drink and be merry.
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I would like to point out though that slavery of mankind did not start in 1776, but it started many years ago, in the Garden Of Eden! If the Reverend wanted to make a real impact on those young men, which had the capacity to not only changed their lives but also their eternal destination, he would have focused on the very roots of hate, who caused it, where it began, and why is it.... a man who was made to love, but instead, developed a propensity and inclination to hate another of his kind!
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He should have explained to them WHY, a man who God knew before that man was in the womb, and CALLED HIM, gave him a reason and a purpose for his life, BEFORE he came out of the womb!!! He should have explained to them, by the definition they were using, there were African-Americans here WHO HATED President Bush, just as they are accusing other races of hating President Obama!
Hate and selfishness knows no racial boundaries!
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What is this Old Fool talking about this morning? Anybody know? Hang around and listen, that's all I'm asking!!!!! If I could pull the curtain back and let you see what is spiritually behind it, like God did in JOB chapter one, and Daniel chapter ten, you would know that there or TENS Of Hundreds Of Thousands of men and women walking the earth today who are still SLAVES!!! Their SOULS are enslaved by the enemy, who is blinding them to the same TRUTH, WORD, and growth process, which JESUS, proclaimed would set them free in JOHN 8:31-32!
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So you see a man can think himself to be free, because he can come and go as he pleases in the natural, but on the inside, he is as MUCH a slave as OLD UNCLE TOM was in Harriet Breecher Stowe's (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896) ..arousing novel depicting the devastation and inhumanity of slavery in the American South!
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I don't want to get longwinded here! No sir! That is not my purpose. I wish I could have had a shot at those young guys!!! Obviously they stood in the need of not only revelation, and transformation, but also they lacked information, wisdom and UNDERSTANDING!!!!
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Years ago, I had an anointing on me where I could talk to hardcore gang members, about life and missed opportunities, and they would break-down and start crying like babies, male and females alike! ( What does this cop wants? Why is he taking the time to talk to me like this? ) When I started in on them about life and what it should mean to them and one's obligation and dedication to fight for survival, they did not possess the capacity to stand there and listen without crying! Whenever I observed the first sign of them breaking,....I move in, with greater, more probing words of encouragements, like a SHARK moving in on a bleeding prey in the water!
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That was just one of the many ways I chose to make a difference while I had the opportunity up there in Houston! I was never afraid to share my wisdom, knowledge, or money with those who needed me, and I did not give a dam weather they were Black, White, Asian, or Hispanic! I get so RIPPED when all I can ever hear about is RACE, for breakfast, dinner and supper! I can well understand that though, because I am free, on the inside, as well on the outside, and I had to prove it, at times when my well being was at stake. Nothing ever happened to me here or overseas and I'll tell you why then I will close and get off of here. The reason is this, GOD'S power is PERFECTED in my weakness.( II Corinthians 12:9 ). That means when GOD gets me to the point of trust and faith so I will agree to partner up with him to do good in the earth toward others, and fight the enemy's work produced here, then HE and I together are unbeatable! Are you hearing me this morning??
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Lastly, let me say as I always say for this holiday! Have a good one, tell somebody you love them, because you know not how long you have to do that, nor how many times you have left to do it! Another thing, don't drink that STUFF! [smile] Drink diet coke ( bottles ) or straight-up water! Leave that STUFF alone! God bless you and HAPPY Fourth Of July! See you on another thread, MAYBE.................

Rainy Brown

Please set your youth free-free from dwelling in the constant reminders of the misery and the stigma from slavery. Build them up, not down.

PD Hyatt

Some people have to live in the past as they can not rid themselves of it. If they can never rid themselves of the past which they did not live, they will always have hate in their hearts.... Rev. Daniels will never leave the past.

JBG JBG

Hello my fine feathered friends!!!!! What time is it? Somebody is not listening!!! I asked what time is it? I was just thinking that it might be time for Ole JBG to tell another documented story of wisdom applicable to this very article! So I think it is time for Old JBG to cut loose with a masterpiece, ....BUT........

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