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Updated: Oct 6, 2022

JUNE 19TH has taken on a heighten meaning this year as even the most unworn of Americans are given a reality check how devastating the danger of being black in America can be as this spring we witnessed as a nation the

murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Rayshard Brooks, and racial discrimination against Black men like Christian Cooper.

"June 19 is a day to reflect on the meaning of freedom, the challenges that we've had to overcome, and the challenges that we still face. It's a time to come together with our families and our communities and talk about steps we can take to move forward in the future. It is celebrating that we're alive and we made it to this point, even if we still have obstacles to face before us," Navies said.

Navies noted that George Floyd graduated from Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas. Reverend Jack Yates, a formerly enslaved person, led the effort to buy property for Juneteenth celebrations. Raising $1,000, Yates and his congregation purchased 10 acres of land in Houston and named it Emancipation Park. It was the only municipal park for Black Americans during the era of segregation."

If you are like many Americans who might not be aware of the historical and social significance of June 19th and the 2 1/2 years after the emancipation proclamation that many slaves were deprived of their rights. You should look it up it is American History and our government sent troops to Texas to because those states that weren't officially in confederate states weren't forced to release their slaves under Army forces.

Thank you God for Juneteeth when slavery was officially ended ivy the government, and masters were released from allowing to be delusional misinformed that they were a superior race.

Of course we know that this is the official date that all of this is said to have happened there are still those who enslaved in violence, fear, hopelessness, and poverty. In 2020 thousands take to the street protesting discrimination because due to race, creeds, sexuality, and unlawful ignorance and violence. I pray for those who might believe that they are above the law, above mercy and for whatever reason are superior than their fellow brothers and sisters on this earth - may they all be freed one day from their ignorance, violence, and arrogance and may your grant us the courage and strength to fight with all of those wrongly enslaved in the societal dysfunctions of society in 2020.

Iam not a historian, a journalist, or activist, though I do stand up for what I believe is right and this I know black lives matter should be a no brainer - why as a nation are we debating this? The reason the black community is screaming out BLACK LIVES MATTER is because the statistics show that blacks are being pulled over, arrested, and murdered by law enforcement disproportionately to the amount of space they take up in this country and yes in regard to the amount of crimes they commit. Black lives matter does not mean that other lives don’t it means - Hey stop acting like it is any bit less trag if than any other race when you hear their stories. It is hard for me to know that I am getting through to my white and other racial friends in telling the stories and advocating for my black friends I don’t really differentiate. However, it has been listening for more than two. Decades now to blacks in both high and low places that has taught me about the black narratives in our country. I am not black and can only pass on that I have learned and become richer by listening to voices I did not

have access to as a child and I believe listening to diverse stories helps us as a community, a nation, and a people. Many people in this country have listened to cisgengered heterosexual main stream white stories all their lives and felt because they didn’t have those experiences that there was something wrong with them. Perhaps it is because mainstream in the 50’s and 60’s whitewashed and edited and excluded so many voices that the media gave they wrong assumption that whites lived ideal lives and we all feel the same. Looking back we see it from the POV of family that is no longer with us, places and thinking that nurtured us, or pleasant experiences that made the terrible we had felt better. Looking back on our ideals that we experienced as children though can make us over nostalgic for the past without a completely informed eye. As a child I was born in Pasadena, CA. I was raised by a single

mother from age 3 onward and went to a private school in elementary and then predominately white public schools in Arcadia, CA for Jr. High and High School. I was sheltered and misinformed about a lot of things as a child because my Mom was trying to protect me. My story wasn’t a fairytale of white America though perhaps on the outside it looked as though I had many advantages that were a privilege. I don’t think my story is that different from other kids in my demographic, but that is something that we don’t look at when you substitute the Caucasian with Black or brown in the race box you change the demographics and that is where the heart aches when in this country that one box can change the quality of life dramatically for our children. Perhaps in many ways it won’t but when it comes to the perception of law enforcement the Cases of police policies and stories are overwhelming.

Since the murder of George Floyd it seems like the video of his abuse and murder is waking up people who have been sleeping through many injustices for many years. Netflix and Amazon have released Black Life Matters Collections that help track historical, documentaries, comedies, dramas, alternatives and standards of the black experience. I didn’t realize why I relate to the black community so deeply but looking at the collections in the BLM collections I had seen more than 1/2 to 3/4 of these films already. It was the writings of Marian Wright Edelman that first woke me up to how connected and different some of my experiences were from my black friends. It was the similarities and saving childern in this country from the effects of poverty. Stand for Childern the grassroots organization started by Jonah Edelman that helped me see and desire to learn more about race relations and hear the stories of my black friends, neighbors, and from the black community. It wasn’t the differences but the similarities that drew me in but it was differences that opened my eyes and heart to how over and over individuals had been dealt some of the most horrific behavior and survived. It made me outraged and Inspired as I went through a most difficult time in my life. Keep going we know them by one name Oprah, Whoopi, Maya, Aretha who are mainstream artists in America but I learned more from these icons pointing to civil rights being gracious and strong and holding on to dignity in the face of strife.

I stand with my friends, family and loved ones in solidarity with the black community to pass on and ask others to say what we all know Black Lives Matter indeed!!!!!

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