Why Celebrating Juneteenth is Important
"Juneteenth is important, because it reminds us of what we came through and what we can achieve. ...the reason General Order Number 3 existed and the Union Army fought to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, is because slavery existed. It's important to remember what we went through and that we were able to get out of the bondage of slavery as a nation. It's an important reminder and it’s important that we understand what it took. It's also important that the Juneteenth holiday survives. It allows each generation to reflect what more there is to do. Juneteenth places Black people at the center of the conversation about freedom, it's meaning and manifestation in this nation.
July 4th is about liberty, but it was an imperfect liberty, because slavery still legally existed in the nation. Both holidays should be acknowledged because they are important moments in our shared history.
We should regularly consider the evolution of the meaning of freedom as we look at certain moments in the nation’s past and present. Someone can deeply appreciate why Juneteenth was important for the Poor People's Campaign. Why Juneteenth is important in relation to the events in relation to the disproportionate and unfair deaths of African Americans. Why Juneteenth is important when we think about enforcing our rights to vote and how we define citizenship in this nation.
Juneteenth should really be a rallying call for all of us to think about the meaning of freedom, particularly regarding African Americans, as well as to the nation and the rest of the world."
Curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)Source: "Why is Juneteenth Important”- NMAAHC.si.edu