My perspective on the harsh realities of African American history while emphasizing the power of gratitude and Black Empowerment. This is my journey towards healing in the face of historical and current racial injustice. This is part of an ongoing heartfelt conversation about identity, spirituality, and enduring strength.
JUNETEENTH: THE MY PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ENSLAVED, TO BEGIN WITH, AND NOW MY COUNTRY EXPECTS ME TO CELEBRATE IT AS A HOLIDAY TO MAKE THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE!
On Juneteenth I am reminded that my ancestors were enslaved, stripped of their humanity, viciously assaulted, bodies mutilated, and murdered. My ancestors endured the most inhumane acts possible. I am reminded that I live in a country where in order for my freedom and humanity to be recognized laws had to be passed. So much of this country still seems to scream “I don’t want your kind here”!
And they don’t just scream it to me, they scream it to all people who have melanin skin. So no, I don’t celebrate Juneteenth, because this day reminds me that MY PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ENSLAVED TO BEGIN WITH! It reminds me that my people were stripped of everything for the sake of greed and at the hands of ignorance, hate, and downright evil.
So no, I don’t have Juneteenth stickers or kits. What I have are Black Empowerment stickers to help my beautiful Black sisters to love and feel comfortable in their skin in a world that often tries to make us feel ashamed or less than because our skin has melanin! Stickers to remind my beautiful Black sisters to be UNAPOLOGETICALLY BLACK, BLACK IS ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL, and that you are BLACK AND BLESSED.
Now, for those who are wondering how can I be on a gratitude journey and have an attitude of gratitude and still have these thoughts and feeling about my history and country swirling around in my mind and heart.
Well, I am a complex Black woman and gratitude isn’t about denying your feelings, past trauma, or hurt or burying your head in the sand, or hiding from the truth. American and world history is a complex one, and in order for me to successfully navigate it and not give in to hatred, resentment, and vengeance...gratitude is the habit…a tool… a practice I use alongside prayer and reading my bible.
Practicing gratitude helps me take control of my thoughts and shift them away from dark ones that could cause me to lash out and hurt others. It helps keep me from misplacing my anger on the descendants of enslavers.
So my gratitude entry today will be one about being grateful first that I am a child of God, that I had a praying grandmother who lead me to Christ and a family and village that supports me on my growth journey and walk with God.
As a child of God, I know that I am to show love to everyone. That means I am supposed to show patience and kindness, among other things to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, gender, or sexual orientation.
I am thankful for my ancestors and all who have fought for me to be here. Those who fought the battles and wars and made sacrifices in order for the world to recognize the GOD-GIVEN FREEDOM my people and I were born with, long before slavery and Juneteenth emancipation day ever existed.
My freedom and the freedom of my people were not “given” by enslavers. Nope, that freedom came from God and we were born with it from the get-go. It was the enslavers who tried to take our freedom, something so very precious that God had already given us!
To the enslavers, as well as those who supported the enslavement of my people, those who turned a blind eye to or try to deny the atrocities of my people, and to those politicians who try to weaponize, manipulate, and use my people for your political gain, I and my people owe you NOTHING and we will NEVER celebrate your ignorance, hatred, evilness and attempt to demonize and dehumanize us because we are BLACK.
Now this is my take and my view of Juneteenth. Yours may be different and that is the beauty of being born with God-given freedom. You are free to make choices and believe what you want to believe.
For those who are interested in learning more about the history of the Black Diaspora, I have made a list of some of my favorite personal reads in our Amazon Store*.
Sending you Love, Hugs, and Gratitude!
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