When the Union Army marched into Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, two years after
The Emancipation Proclamation, and declared that all enslaved people were henceforth
and forevermore free, a literal shout of freedom went up among the people. “Juneteenth,”
a combination of the words June and Nineteenth, was born and became the day of
celebration for the literal emancipation of Black people.
As we Sankofa “Juneteenth” today, there is a new call for freedom being made in
our country, and yet again young people are leading the way. People of all races,
ethnicities, religions, genders, and walks of life are standing together and
shouting, “Black Lives Matter,” with a new understanding of what Dr. King meant
when he said until all of us are free, none of us are free.
Today, as I watch thousands of people come together to celebrate this historic
day, whether in person or virtually, I am encouraged for our future, and hopeful
for the kind of life that my grandchildren and their grandchildren will have.