Thursday, President Biden announced that Juneteenth will now be recognized as a federal holiday. And as a federal employee, I was thrilled to wake up to that news. Because, it meant Thursday would be my Friday.
And although I was cool with the day off, I couldn’t help but ponder the thoughts of some who felt that this was just a way to make money once more from our pain and from the sweaty backs of our ancestors. Since it’s a holiday, people will spend more money for cookouts and celebratory events. Not to mention, a free day off, whether your ancestors suffered or not (if you get my drift).
By definition, reparations is the making of amends for the wrong someone has done by paying money. Slaves have been egregiously wronged in this country, yet have never been directly compensated for the pain and anguish they endured. And even still to this day, Black people still endure unlawful cruelty in the forms of unfair housing, re-gentrification and other ways the police have unjustly murdered people of color.
Even today, the average white family has roughly ten times the amount of wealth as the average Black family. Wealth should be restored to Black families through reparations. However, thankfully, Black residents of Sacramento may be eligible for that long awaited reparations check after all. We shall see.
How Will You Honor Black Heritage
Me personally, I want to begin a tradition within my own family to represent our heritage and freedom. Original observances included prayer meetings and collectively singing old negro spirituals. Today, we celebrate with more of the same, to include speeches, family gatherings, educational forums and festivals. How will you celebrate Juneteenth?