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Juneteenth, a Sacred Opportunity to Learn from Our Past

god and freedom in the united states

(W.scott Mcgill/

Dr. Alveda C. King By Thursday, 20 June 2024 06:40 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

"When peripherals collide, convergence is imminent. We are not colorblind. We see and celebrate ethnicity," Dr. Alveda King

Yesterday, June 19, 2024, we arrived at another Juneteenth in America.

Father’s Day is just behind us.

I take pause to remember three "ballot initiatives" as I connect these "dots."

Racism, human dignity from birth to death, and beyond, and the "fatherhood crisis."

These are not just rambling thoughts to passively dwell upon.

This is about focusing on real crises in our great nation.

Please take time to pause and pray for America: unfailingly, daily.

As Black Americans, and indeed all people of goodwill across the country celebrate Juneteenth with friends, family, and loved ones, we celebrate magnificent Black achievement which could only be possible in our beloved homeland.

As many of you may know, Juneteenth—sometimes called "America’s Second Independence Day" — marks the moment when Union troops reached Galveston, Texas, and finally liberated the last remaining enslaved Black Americans from their chains of slavery.

In the year 1865, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger freed enslaved Blacks, still held in the Lone Star State. These were the last remaining group(s) of Black slaves.

This decision was in line with President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

Yes, every leap toward freedom should be celebrated in every generation, decade, and era.

Some query as to why Juneteenth is necessary.

They suggest the day just stirs up old wounds.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Remembering our history is necessary. When we don’t remember our history, we run the risk of repeating past mistakes. Something which, tragically, is not all that difficult to do.

Without our history, we just might forget to celebrate our resilience and our blessings.

I, for one, don’t believe in coincidences. God is intentional in divine authority. God is Sovereign. Everything happens for a reason. God is always in control.

So as an American, I observe Juneteenth each year.

Turning to the critical subject of ethnic harmony reminds me of the Holy Bible's Book of Galatians 3:28 - "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all on in Christ Jesus."

Yes, the Bible teaches us that by God’s grace, we are all one human race and one blood.

America’s Funding principles of liberty and equality offer that same message, as well.

As our Declaration of Independence says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. . . "

My uncle, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., well-knew the significance of this proclamation was; in his famed 1963 "I Have a Dream" address, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he declared that when the "architects of our republic" authored those "magnificent words" of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, they were "signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir."

My uncle went on to say that this note was "a promise that all [people] men — yes, Black [people] men as well as white [people] men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights" enshrined in our Founding documents.

So friends, let us compare these messages to the many voices of division we hear in our popular culture today!

From the media and entertainment to politics and education, we are constantly reminded of our differences.

We are divided along the lines of race [a socially invented concept], class, sex, faith, and even political persuasion.

Remember, God intentionally created ethnicities; not separate races.

Voices of division pit us against each other and direct us to be each other’s enemies.

It hasn’t always been easy, but through the sacrifice of civil rights heroes like my uncle, my mom and dad and grandparents, equality under the law has been achieved in every generation, decade, and on every platform.

This is well-evidenced by Juneteenth.

An historically significant day because again, I believe in the old adage: if you don’t learn your history, you will be doomed to repeat it.

So let’s use this Juneteenth as an opportunity to work together to hold onto the good and correct the bad.

The goal for humankind should be to learn to live together as brothers and sisters in Christ.

If we cannot learn to do so, as the Bible teaches, we will indeed perish as fools.

Juneteenth provides us with the perfect opportunity to reflect on this Christian principle of ethnic harmony. I’m often reminded, especially during this season, that as a Christian Evangelist, how important it is to deliver the good news in every generation, and decade, on every platform.

While we certainly have more work to do in our everyday lives, we should also use this day to look back on the progress that we have made and celebrate with joy the blessings that America has brought to all of God’s children. We are, after all, the children of God.

Let us never forget this! God Bless each and everyone!

God bless our United States of America.

Dr. Alveda King serves as Chair of the Center for the American Dream at the America First Policy Institute. Read More of her Reports — Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

I, for one, don’t believe in coincidences. God is intentional in divine authority. God is Sovereign. Everything happens for a reason. God is always in control. So as an American, I observe Juneteenth each year.
emancipation, gordon, lincoln
Thursday, 20 June 2024 06:40 AM
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