Juneteenth Forever

June Boyd

By June Boyd
Guest Column

Recently, we celebrated Juneteenth. In February we welcomed Black History Month, and in December, 2023 we lit the candles for Kwanzaa.  Has anything changed??

Our people are still dying at the hands of gunmen. Many parents are not attending to the needs of their children. Too many teens are smoking weed and breeze. Envy is rampant among each other.

I want to reach out to the 14-year-old teen who told me her father had 35 kids when I asked her how many brothers and sisters she had. She said her mother had four. I wonder how all of those different mothers are feeling today?

As we acknowledge our heritage; we need to all go back to the basics of the struggle wherein some of the strongest and most notable men and women such as Frederick Douglass; Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and so many, many others fought for our freedom and set an example of what we must do to survive.

Murder and violence has never been in our DNA.  There needs to be a truce among the gangs and those who want to kill. Put down your guns.
The basic love and respect has been overlooked too many times among our youth.  How can we get it back? As Rodney King once said: “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

At each celebration whether it is Black History Month, Kwanzaa or Juneteenth, I reflect on the past and how we got here on the shoulders of our ancestors who made a difference. I also ponder on what will it take to make us realize we are in a constant struggle together and nothing will happen unless we seriously pick up the torch and stick together to earn the equality we deserve.

The power in the African American community depends on us.  Many times people have said Black History Month should be longer than one month. Kwanzaa has seven principles we are compelled to exhibit: Unity, Self Determination, Collective work, Responsibility, Cooperative economics, Purpose,
Creativity and Faith;  Is this a Reality?

In order to celebrate our freedom, Juneteenth forever and our heritage, we must act as if it were an emergency in maintaining our equality and freedom then We Shall Overcome.