Gwen Ifill was an extraordinary journalist, and someone who I followed for as long as I followed politics. She died too young in 2016 of breast and endometrial cancer. This year she has been honored with a United States Postal Service Forever stamp. You read her author’s page at The PBS Newshour and read some touching memories at Remembering Gwen Ifill. She will always be an inspiration to me.
By happenstance, author and activist, Charles A. Preston appeared on my Twitter timeline through the retweet of someone I follow, and I consider myself lucky to have found his amazing resource for Black History (this month and every month of the year). The multi-folder Google doc is chock full of information about many aspects of Black History from Afro-Futurism to Zora Neale Hurston and many others in between. I believe he is continuing to update it. When using his folders, remember to give him credit as well as linking to his Twitter or website.
This film won for best short at last week’s Oscars. It is well worth your time to watch this beautiful movie.
Juneteenth is a celebration of African-American Emancipation. It commemorates the day in 1865 in Texas that General Gordon Granger read the proclamation declaring that ALL SLAVES ARE FREE. While Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in his Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 with an effective date of January 1, 1863 that did not include border states not in rebellion or Texas where slaveowners moved to escape the fighting (unless these slaves escaped to non-slave states).
Now, they were all free with all the rights and privileges of all Americans (except of course for the reality of being Black in America in 1865).
One year later, in 1866, Freedmen celebrated the first anniversary of Juneteenth in Texas.
Contending with whites only spaces that continued for too many years, many pooled their money to buy land of their own in order to congregate and celebrate. Emancipation Park in Houston, Booker T. Washington Park in Mexia, and Emancipation Park in Austin are three of these places.
While celebrated in several states as a recognized holiday or observance, the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation is seeking an official designation of Juneteenth as an observation in all 50 states through Congress.
From the television series, Black-ish: