Happy Juneteenth!

Happy Juneteenth, y’all!  For those of you white folks who don’t know about Juneteenth, it’s an annual holiday celebrating the day Texas announced the abolition of slavery (Texas was the last state to do so).  It’s also called Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, and it’s an official holiday in 14 states, but celebrated basically everywhere there are signficiant numbers of black people.  Which, of course, includes my home state of Arkansas (and DEFINITELY includes my home town of Pine Bluff).

 juneteenth.jpg  Here in Arkansas, there are a number of Juneteenth celebrations every year, mainly on the weekend before the actual holiday (which is today, June 19).   In Little Rock (where I am currently), there was a ginormous party with a lot of great musical/hip hop acts on Friday and Saturday.  I noticed traffic was pretty sparse on Sunday: I bet there were lots of people with sore heads and funky stomachs that day. 

For weeks, our two OUTSTANDING hip hop/R&B radio stations did daily giveaways of Juneteenth tickets, and lemme tell you, they were highly sought-after.

I think Juneteenth should be a holiday celebrated by everyone, regardless of their race or skin color.  It’s a good time to reflect on the most important civil rights victory in America’s history: shouldn’t we all honor that?  Juneteenth is just not celebrated enough.

Also, I have to say, being a Delta girl I can’t imagine what life would be like in America if black folks (a) weren’t here and (b) had not been finally given the opportunity to pursue their own American Dreams.  It’s no fun when it’s just white people around, I know that much for sure–which is one reason I’m so damn happy to be back down in the real South.  Whatever our problems are, we keep it real.  Sometimes it’s real good and sometimes it’s real bad, but it’s real, and it’s fulla flava. 

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~ by lewdandlascivious on June 19, 2007.

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