In Ralph Ellison’s unfinished novel Juneteenth, the fictional character Rev. Alonzo Hickman, a Southern Black Church leader explained Juneteenth to a white senator: “We haven’t forgotten what it means,” he says. “Even if sometimes folks try to make us believe it never happened or that it was a mistake it ever did…”
Just like Ellison’s novel, our work on racial justice remains unfinished. In fact, we have barely started because many chose to forget. On this Juneteenth weekend and beyond, we must understand that it is not enough to be not racist. All-of-us must commit to being anti-racist. The first step is remembering and reckoning with our history.
1 Ask Your Member of Congress to Support H.R. 40, The Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act.
2 And while you’ve got them on the line, ask them to support the Omar-Pressley resolution (H.Res.988) condemning police violence.