Sunday, June 19, 2022

Juneteenth, Firmly Established

I figured that I would post about Juneteenth on the actual day, even though it being a federal holiday, it can be celebrated on Monday, 6/20.  I've been posting about Juneteenth for over a decade, because I had the great good fortune of working with an East Texas gal, a history buff, who had grown up celebrating the holiday with her family.  Workplace diversity is a strength, dear readers, and having a friend group from many backgrounds just makes you smarter.

Unlike, say, Memorial Day, which seems like it should be more somber, Juneteenth being a party day is appropriate- the holiday celebrates the actualization of what Independence Day promises, the prospect of actual implementation of the Declaration of Independence's lofty prose.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate than a cookout (after reflection on the holiday's meaning)... it being a cornerstone of African-American culture.  The foods typical of American summer celebrations are rooted in African-American foodways, as historian, chef, and activist Michael Twitty has so ably documented.  

Have a happy Juneteenth, and think of it as a supplement to the Fourth of July.  Sure, racism is still a problem, and there is a vicious backlash against teaching about the true role of race in these here United States, but this is an occasion to celebrate gains that were made.  The fight can be resumed tomorrow, must be resumed tomorrow.

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