Reflections Following Juneteenth

Reflections Following Juneteenth

The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln more than 160 years ago, declaring all slaves free in the United States and granting absolute equality of personal rights. On June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, we celebrate the day that Black Americans received the news of their freedom.

Juneteenth has been a holiday for generations, but it became a federally recognized holiday on June 18, 2021 through a proclamation from President Biden following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Those deaths are just one microcosm of the challenges Black Americans continue to face today.

As we celebrate Juneteenth, it’s a great time to learn about the holiday and stream PBS programs that have been produced about the progress we’ve yet to make:

Say It Loud: Juneteenth – Freedom and the Fine Print

Explore the origin of Juneteenth and look at the parallels of Black liberation work around Reconstruction and Black liberation work, today. This video focuses on three areas of “Fine Print” – Voter Suppression, Mass Incarceration and Policing – with a special highlight on the work of leaders pushing for change in these areas:

Juneteenth: A Journey through History and Celebration

Learn about Juneteenth’s origins as a celebration of emancipation, its enduring significance in American history, and why it remains vital today. Discover the stories of resilience, unity, and freedom that define this important day in this special from WHUT:

Amanpour and Company

America marked Juneteenth with a federal holiday, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It honors the day the last slaves in Galveston, Texas learned that they were free, on June 19, 1865. Prof. Carol Anderson explains the holiday’s significance:

Origin of Everything: The History of Reparations

In 2014, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article “The Case for Reparations” went viral. Tracing everything from the racial terror of slavery to the rampant housing discrimination of the 20th century, Coates made the case for financial reparations for the descendants of those enslaved in the US. However, this argument extends back further than 2014 and also has significance beyond the Black American community. Watch it now:

Redlining: Mapping Inequality in Dayton & Springfield

See how New Deal-era Redlining maps delineated risk areas for federally-backed mortgages and home-ownership programs, resulting in a wealth gap that continues to impact communities and Black families today:

It’s also a great time to celebrate:

Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom

A black man is troubled by the legacy of American slavery and the misuse of Christianity to justify it. Follow his journey as he travels throughout Texas and discovers how the Juneteenth holiday reveals a resilient hope that empowered the formerly enslaved and their descendants to fight for freedom in an often unjust society:

Juneteenth Jamboree: How We’re Celebrating Now

Harrison Eppright hosts a virtual discussion about Juneteenth. Galveston County historian Sam Collins III reveals historical notes about the original event as well as ongoing and current celebration efforts. Dr. Sabrina Robins explains how a former sundown town in Northeast Wisconsin has created their Juneteenth celebration as a platform to develop community:

Juneteenth Lehigh Valley: Celebration of Liberty

Preview of the second Juneteenth Lehigh Valley Celebration at SteelStacks, a cultural center in Bethlehem, PA. The community kicks off a full day of concerts, film screenings, presentations and conversations centered on and celebrating the African-American experience: