Yes, I know our voting rights are under attack. Yes, I know the effects of systemic inequality on our people. Yes, we need reparations. Yes, I’ve had partners and friends murdered by police and others who are still doing time for fighting back.
We have to use every tool we have to continue to fight back and win. To dismiss a Juneteenth holiday is to negate a tool we can use to both organize around and educate with.
They don’t want us to teach about 1619, racism, or slavery; A federal holiday makes it much harder for state supremacists to erase. Today, I want to celebrate and thank Mrs. Opal Lee for her efforts, along with those of the millions of people who pushed for this day.
In case you haven’t met her—the Fort Worth Library conducted this oral history interview with her in 2018.
Now, the work begins. If you don’t know the history—learn it. If you do, educate someone you know. The history of enslavement in this nation is foundational and has shaped where we are today.