As we pause to celebrate Juneteenth 2020, I reflect and consider what freedom really means in our current context. I wonder why in 2020 are we still facing the inequalities, disparities and racially motivated disregard for people of color? On June 19, 1865 the slaves in Galveston, TX found out that they were free. In actuality, they had been free for two years. But there were structures in place that kept that information away from them. I’m wondering, sarcastically, if they slave owners, slave traders, and slave transporters ever found out that slaves were free, because their behaviors and treatment of people of color didn’t change? I wonder if they know that we are free now, because we’re continuing in the fight for our freedom and rights to be treated with justice? The slave trade refers to the transatlantic trading patterns which were established as early as the mid-17th century. We are not still in the transatlantic trade but the systems remain in tact from that time.
Trading ships would set sail from Europe with a cargo of manufactured goods to the west coast of Africa. It has been estimated that by the late 1700’s there were almost a half million enslaved people taken by the British colonies.
It concerns me that there are many people who don’t know in June 2020 that we are free. This is primarily because the same systems that were put in place during the 1600-1700s remain in existence today. They’re more sophisticated now and the slave owners don’t physically beat people, they leave that to the police departments across the country and the free labor is done by those who are imprisoned.
My prayer is that we would stand up and fight for the freedom that we all deserve. I am also in prayer that we, people of color, won’t be imprisoned in our mind and that we would pursue our freedom and healing because our lives depend on it!
What does freedom mean to you? For me, it means having the space to live without fear, to be who you authentically are, to move and do what God has assigned to your hands without having a knee on your neck. Live in freedom!!
Take good care of you!