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Last Sunday was Juneteenth, a newly recognized national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The holiday celebrates the anniversary of General Order No. 3 by Gen. Gordon Granger of the Union Army, who on June 19, 1865, declared that enslaved people in the state of Texas were free.
Although the “peculiar institution” upon which the U.S. was built has long since come to an end—at the cost of hundreds of thousands of American lives—its legacy lives on today, from a criminal justice system plagued by racial inequities to a political system that often treats Black Americans as fodder. Reparations were never paid, forced labor still exists in the United States today, and crises are disproportionately felt by Black communities across the country.
This week, OptOut has selected a number of articles and op-eds related to Juneteenth and our imperfect efforts to overcome our brutal national proclivities.
Your Independent News Roundup
STATES NEWSROOM syndicated an excellent piece by Tufts University professor Kris Manjapra about the history and legacy of Juneteenth and the fight for Black emancipation. This is the NEVADA CURRENT version.
The MISSOURI INDEPENDENT has a story about how the issue of reparations for the descendants of formerly enslaved persons has become mainstream.
SOURCE NEW MEXICO has an analysis out by Barbara Jordan, founder of the group People Requiring Equality w/in Systemic Racism (PRESS) New Mexico, explaining why the celebration of the holiday is necessary but pointing out that recognition is just the tip of the iceberg.
The CONNECTICUT MIRROR published a review of how Juneteenth was celebrated across the state.
On WHO WHAT WHY's latest podcast episode, historian Annette Gordon-Reed, author of On Juneteenth, talks about the significance of the Juneteenth holiday in the context of the broader struggle for racial equality.
The NEW HAMPSHIRE BULLETIN has a necessary piece examining, in light of the holiday, the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on white and Black communities.
In related news, new variants of Covid-19 are spreading and driving up cases, as THE DAILY MONTANAN reports.
THE MAJORITY REPORT talked with UCLA American history professor Robin D.G. Kelley about Juneteenth and the history of emancipation.
Thanks as always for keeping up with the OptOut network! See you this weekend.
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