Thursday, March 23, 2023

Juneteenth delivers a message of hope, resilience

Juneteenth Delivers A Message Of Hope, Resilience
Alexey Rosenfeld / Getty Images

(New York) — While most Americans prepare to celebrate the country’s independence on July 4, many black people in the United States recognize June 19 as their Independence Day.

The day, widely known as Juneteenth, and also known as Jubilee Day or Black Independence Day, is an important date in black history. It marks the day when the last enslaved African Americans became aware of their freedom.

The news was delivered to black people in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which marked the end of slavery legally for the Southern Confederate states.

ABC News caught up with prominent African Americans in film, music and media during the Bounce Trumpet Awards on April 23, 2022, and asked how Juneteenth played a role in their lives. The awards will be broadcast on June 19.

Emmy Award winning actor Courtney B. “Our people are great and we started with nothing and achieved something,” Vance told ABC News. “Yes, things can be tricky now, but when you go to the first Google page and look and see what our people had to do and still they got up. Wherever they looked, it wasn’t there. See also it was dark there.

The Tony Award-winning “61st Street” actor said he appreciates the opportunity, especially to educate young children, about the greatness and adversity of their ancestors. “It is a message to all of us that sometimes life is hard and it is going to be a test. But if we just press, there will be victory.”

Along with Vice President Kamala Harris, the first black woman to hold the second highest office in the executive branch, President Joe Biden signed the June 17th National Independence Day Act into law last year on June 17, 2021. But the American community was celebrating long before African Juneteenth was made a federal holiday.

Essence Magazine CEO Caroline Vanga, a woman of Kenyan descent, emphasized the creation of Juneteenth as a celebration generated by the struggle of black people. During the Bounce Trumpet Awards celebrating black humanitarians, he raised the question of reflection on the black community.

“If you think about how long it took Juneteenth to happen, what are the things that you aren’t currently celebrating that you should be that are already yours that you didn’t know about?”

In addition to the usual music and food gatherings and celebrations, Vanga suggests a different way of celebrating.

“That’s what I’d love for people to spend Juneteenth recognizing that the holiday was about the last of us discovering that we were more free than we once thought,” she said. “What I want is for us to never Juneteenth again and celebrate all the things that are true of us that are already here that we just don’t know about. Go to some Google and celebrate Juneteenth “

Long an erased part of American history, the country’s acceptance of the delay encourages black people to research and educate unknown facts about their ancestors.

Naomi Raine, a member of the Grammy-winning gospel group Maverick City Music, is planning the holiday by starting honest conversations with her kids.

“I think everyone is kind of developing how they are celebrating this holiday because some of it is coming to light for many of us,” Raine told ABC News. “Now, it’s about educating my kids and making them aware of the roots of our nation and talking about what freedom is like for all.”

There are many in-person celebrations taking place across the country this year, with some artists planning to go out and take part in the traditional festivities. Rising Soul singer Jordan Hawkins, a North Carolina native, says he looks forward to attending the Juneteenth music and arts festival in Los Angeles’s Leimert Park on June 18, which will include more than 300 Black-owned businesses.

Juneteenth commemorates the decades-long fight for equality and equality for African Americans. And as the fight continues to deliver on America’s promise to all, Vance offers another message of hope: “I think we’re going to succeed. We’re going to move on.”

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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