Updated: Oct 31, 2022
By BLACKCHICKWHITEACCENT (BCWA)
Sunday, June 19th, 2022, also known as "Juneteenth," commemorated not only a significant moment in black history, but also the first time in America's history it was recognized as a national holiday.
If you don't know nothin about Juneteenth, I won't scold you. I was born and raised in Colorado Springs. And although there were small and scattered gatherings here and there, I didn't know anything about the significance of Juneteenth either, until I was asked to cover these events while working for a local tv station. I was 26 years old. It's a sad acknowledgement on my part, but it couldn't be helped. Many primary and secondary schools in America, especially here out west, never bothered to mention it.
In Texas, however, black folks made sure everyone knew about it, because it was on that day in 1865, slaves in Texas found out they were free, almost two years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Regardless, it became a celebration not just in Texas, but in many parts of the country. And we blacks know how to celebrate it, with good food, music, and dancing!
You can hear speeches, poetry and watch performative dances. You're surrounded by more blacks than you usually see, well, anywhere in the Springs. It's an amazing, and beautiful experience, and a testimony to our resilience as Americans. We are instinctively, and inherently strong. We have to be, because if we weren't, we would have died out as a nationality, and a culture, in this country, a long time ago.
We are a powerful people. So, every time life gets you down, every time you feel discouraged, remember what our ancestors went thru. God knows what fresh hell they faced every day. Yet they still got up every morning. And all worked hard, but those who could, also marched for our rights, and the freedom that comes with those rights.
What's that wonderful gospel song? "In that great gettin' up mornin, fare ye well, fare ye well!" Our ancestors clung to hope, and their faith, praying one day their descendants would have the freedom to gather together to celebrate our triumphs. And here we are, still fighting to be fully recognized, but at least we're free. ----
I certainly hope everyone's Juneteenth weekend went well. Its summer now, and a time to celebrate the warmth, beauty and growth of the flowers, the grass, the trees, and yes, the grandkids and great grandkids! It's a time for barbecues and birthdays. In my big family, there are plenty of summertime birthdays! I'm always looking forward to it.
So, celebrate with your fam, and friends. Cook if you can or attend the barbecue with at least a couple of bags of chips or soda. You show up empty handed, you'll still get to eat, but us Aunties will talk about ya. Remember that! ----
Embrace the positivity of longer days, and summer holidays. They give us a chance to breathe. It gives us a chance to hope. And if you're not already taking to the road to see family in different states, take a drive up into the mountains. Its beautiful up there, and much cooler.
Get out of the house, and embrace the world! And, because I used to be a disc jockey, I'll recommend one of my favorite summer songs to add your summer playlist. Its called "Summer Breeze," by the late Jim Seals, and his musical partner Dash Crofts. It's a great song, simple and beautifully constructed. If you've never heard of it, look it up, or ask somebody! Its worth it!
I always associate certain songs with good memories. So, a quick one about that song. It was a hot summer evening in 1976. We lived on the military base in Killeen, Texas. My older brothers were blasting the Isley Brothers version of "Summer Breeze," on the record player. It's a soulful, killer cover. Me and my twin were six years old, and were playing in the water sprinkler (with permission!). It was a good day, and a good song. The right song never fails to take me back to a good place in time. I hope it does the same for you.
"Summer breeze, makes me feel fine. Blowing through the jasmine in my mind." Enjoy the weather!