Juneteenth is here! If you don’t show up unapologetically in full celebration of Blackness any other time of the year, this is the day to do it! As a matter of fact, I suggest you celebrate all weekend. You have Monday off already.
Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the date that the enslaved Black folks in Galveston, TX received word that they were emancipated from enslavement. I oftentimes try to wonder about the amount of relief, likely disbelief, freedom, joy, excitement, and anticipation that moment must have felt like for those ancestors. I honestly can’t imagine. What I do know is that their collective hopes, dreams, and faith for a better way of life for their progeny is why we are all here today. It was the ultimate manifestation!
So, if you don’t take some time out to truly reflect on the immensity of that blessing and celebrate all of the amazing, miraculous, joyful, unique, inimitable, innovative, revolutionary ways that Black folks have and continue to shape this world, you are playing yourself and your people WAY too small!
If you know anything about me, you know I’m under no illusion that the mechanisms of white supremacist ideology and late stage capitalism continue to keep us oppressed and inflict harm on our mental health day in and day out. Many of us are engaging actively in our generation’s revolution for Black liberation by doing our internal healing work. By breaking generational patterns of dysfunction and harm. By leaning into our softness, acknowledging our pain, living out our truest identities. Throughout all of this we must remember that life is for the living. Don’t sideline your birthright to pleasure, joy, frivolity, and indulgence in the midst of your healing and liberation work.
For those folks of other racial identities who consider themselves accomplices to Black folks, remember this is not a day about diversity. This day is about Blackness, full stop. Be intentional about not centering yourselves or even your curiosity on Juneteenth. There are 364 other days of the year to do that. What you can do is spend time continuing to learn about the expansive and powerful ways Black Americans have contributed to the richness of the world. What you can do is be ever reflective of the ways in which you can dismantle white supremacy culture day in and day out.
For all my Black people, I love you, I love me, I love us! Grab you a red drink, a piece of red velvet cake, and a plate with the best bbq and potato salad. Slap the cards down HARD on the table. Talk yo’ shit during that game. Sing karaoke loudly. Do that two step or that line dance like we do. Laugh loudly and with your whole body. Celebrate us with your whole heart and spirit.