As a White man with a predominantly white family and friends I believe it is our duty to look beyond our white culture. If we/I do not, then we/I will continue to be part of an oppressive system that does not change and accept Black and Indegenous People of Color "BIPOC" as truly human and deserving of the same rights and pursuit of happiness that we/I have.
I love my family and friends and know they are good people. At the same time I know that I don't know what I don't know. When we are talking about the black experience in america, there is a lot that I don't know. Here is one tradition that we can promote and easily support. Take some time to learn about Juneteenth, put it on your calendar, and celebrate it next year.
First off, I want to say Happy Juneteenth! I know if most of you are like I was last year, I thought to myself, what the heck is Juneteenth.
Juneteenth (June 19th) is a day of solidarity in the ratification of the 13th amendment ("Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction"). Freed slaves celebrated as they were now, by law, given (some of) the same rights as whites. This was the year 1865, 89 years after our country became independent.
Here is an article from a great educational resource called Teaching Tolerance. This article "Teaching Juneteenth" does a great job highlighting what Juneteenth is and how to teach our kids about it. Please take 5 minutes to read this article and educate yourselves. I know I learned a lot from it and subsequently felt ashamed for not knowing as much about Juneteenth as I now do. Please take time to start having conversations with your kids about Juneteenth, and set up practices that promote days and celebrations like Juneteenth. This not just something that black people celebrate, this is something we as Americans should celebrate.
I love you all and hope to hear your thoughts on this.