"As I sit in my office staring at a sunrise on a Saturday morning, musing and typing away, it is literally the dawn of a new day. A lovely day.
It’s also a brand-spankin’-new federal holiday. It is officially – Juneteenth.
This day commemorates June 19, 1865, when, more than a month after the last battle of the Civil War, Union soldiers informed the slaves of Galveston, Texas that they were at last emancipated. The date has been celebrated by black Americans ever since; first in Texas and eventually throughout the US. Whether you call Juneteenth Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or our second Independence Day, Juneteenth is one of the most important anniversaries in our nation's history.
There are those among us who cringe and fret over a holiday that calls attention to the past – to the darkest days of our nation’s history. I submit for consideration that every holiday has its rai·son d'ê·tre – a profound purpose to be fulfilled.
We celebrate – on July 4th – This year the festival returns to Franklin.
We commemorate – on Memorial Day- and honor those who served our country.
We rededicate – with each New Year – resolving to advance our better natures.
Now on every Juneteenth, let us not only commemorate long delayed independence of all, but embrace the opportunity to accelerate the just and equal enjoyment of that independence for all. Let Juneteenth lean forward into a better future. Let Juneteenth ask its essential perennial question, “How can we all work to eliminate pernicious systemic racism and advance genuine social and economic justice and true equality for everyone?”
We should all see Juneteenth as more than a ‘black holiday’, but a joyful journey for all of us toward the perfection of “freedom and justice for all”.
Let Juneteenth be an action item. In the fullness of time every Juneteenth will come to represent the dawn of a new day. A lovely day – for everyone.
And – as always –
Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm.And, thank you for watching. "
Pete Fasciano, Executive Director
Get this week's program guide for Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) online
http://franklin.tv/programguide.pdf or for archive purposes
|Franklin TV: "The Dawning of a New Day? Juneteenth – Looking back, looking forward"|