To the Editor:
Juneteenth is American history, and it is the newest federal holiday.
The holiday is a reminder of the hypocrisy of the American Story and its suppression and exclusion of African American history. These actions have resulted in limited knowledge of the significant contributions Africans and African Americans made to the development of the United States.
The enslavement of Africans and the free labor they provided resulted in a significant boost to the economic growth of the United States. The brutal treatment and harsh environment that the enslaved were subjected to is beyond reprehensible and it has been strategically omitted from mainstream history. Educational resources and books that provide the truth about these events are demonized and demeaned by those who support the suppression of truth.
The recent laws passed are aligned with the tenets implemented by The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Lost Cause that suppress and misrepresent the truth. The suppression of truth will not allow us to fully understand what happened in the past and this will hamper the ability to address matters in the present and future.
Hopefully, the Juneteenth holiday will energize the elected Senate members to approve the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and The George Floyd Justice and Policing Act and promote understanding of the system that enslaved African Americans and the persistence and pervasive discrimination that they experience daily.
We are living in the most racially and politically divisive time in American history. Maybe Juneteenth will be the catalyst that will allow community members to courageously examine the hard truths about the past and move forward with a newfound hope to ensure that liberty and justice are provided for all.
Philemon Brown and Leon Burch
Community Hands of Texas