Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.
I grew up in Berkeley, California where we’ve have held a Juneteenth celebration (which regularly falls on Father’s Day) since I was a teenager. This gathering was a ritual for us. Today, alongside the thousands of people who celebrate this commemoration every year, there is an explosion of recognition for June 19th, 1865; the day the news of emancipation finally reached the last enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas.
In and through all that we’ve experienced in the world these past couple of months, we’ve somehow found ourselves at a juncture where the media, corporations, social platforms and people everywhere have decided to use Juneteenth to honor, celebrate, connect, (placate, manage guilt) and take action in this time of Global Reset and Black Lives Matter activism.
I have many feelings about this and many things I could say. As I’ve been doing in abundance lately, I choose stillness. After being still I realized that I could focus on all the ways our recent circumstances have made a mockery of freedom OR I could choose to focus on the ways I am free in this moment…
I am free to kiss my remarkable husband as I leave our home
To receive a bear hug from my (all of a sudden taller than me) baby boy
To kiss my daughter’s adult cheeks
To have an inspired conversation with a friend and mentor
To sit on a public bench with snacks and a thought-provoking book
To laugh on a chat thread with my inner circle of powerhouse sisters
To feel loved, supported and respected to support and guide clients who are thriving even in the midst
To move my body at will in healthy and energetic ways
To make money doing what I love and in my zone of genius
To look out at this view as I write this message
To breathe and fight and shine in honor of those who cannot
What is your form of freedom in this moment? Comment below or in my group.