While public health considerations preclude us from gathering together to celebrate Juneteenth – Freedom Day – in the socially engaged manner to which the community is accustomed, recent events should hasten our commitment to observe this historical and deeply meaningful holiday.
That many Americans this year will take note of Juneteenth is a sign of the heightened awareness we all should have about the long journey Black men and women have taken on the road to equality and the distance we as a society have yet to travel. It is a date of importance to all Americans, regardless of race. So, while we may not be able to come together physically this year, we can use 2020 to adopt a common mindset. One useful bridge to understanding is reading, so take advantage of the Black Lives Matter Reading List and let’s use Juneteenth not only to honor Black Americans, but to challenge ourselves to dig deeper into the conversations we must have about justice and equality for all.
Michael M. Crow
Arizona State University