Happy Juneteenth 2022. As we celebrate this important holiday that marked the official day that freed the former enslaved peoples of Texas on June 19, 1865, I would like to offer some reflection.
It is critical to celebrate and be joyful in recognizing the freedom from the physical bondage, brutality, and in-humane suffering that this day gave to the freed peoples of Texas.
Some would argue in a psychological sense, that June 19, 1865, could have offered America true independence. For a majority of African American, Juneteenth, which became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, is their day of Independence.
As we celebrate this sacred holiday, it is important to understand the dynamics that led to the withholding of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation for two and a half years.
What happened to our ancestors and their bodies, did not end with Slavery, we must be reminded of the intergenerational trauma that continues to this day. But all is not loss, Dr. Fanny Brewster in her writing on the African Holocaust and the intergenerational impact of this human evil, reminds us why it is important to work psychologically to own our freedom, raise our cultural consciousness and strengthen our ego as we celebrate Juneteenth, as well as our individual and collect independence as African peoples.
I think there must be intentional celebrations. I think there is a need for spiritual and psychological freedom, and it is helpful to explore various ways to honor our African cultural heritage. I also think it is important for us to accept, cultivate, and celebrate African American independence and freedom in a true sense by attending to our physical, economic, political, social needs, mental health, and psychological well being.