DALLAS,TX (KDAF)- Today is Juneteenth and the arrival of this day could not have come at a better time. In the midst of everything going on in regard to police brutality and racism, this is the perfect time to be educated on the history of African Americans.
Leah Frazier, the President of Think Three Media, is leading the charge for a number of Juneteenth events and contributing to the conversations about race relations in the U.S.
Frazier explains the importance of Juneteenth to her and the people of her community.
“I’ve always celebrated Juneteenth. I’ve grown up in Dallas, I went to school in Oak Cliff. Black History was something that I was always taught in elementary, middle school and moving throughout my education, so we were taught early on about Juneteenth.” Frazier says.
Frazier explains the history behind Juneteenth, how The Emancipation Proclamation came down through Abraham Lincoln on January 1st of 1863, however, black slaves in Texas were not notified of their freedom until two years later in Galveston on June 19th of 1865.
“This is a day of celebration, it’s a day of celebrating African American freedom, our contribution, our culture. You’re going to see a lot of people having barbecues, picnics, films, celebrating black art. It’s always been a part of our culture.” Frazier says.
Many people had not been aware of the event of Juneteenth prior to now, and many still don’t know. Living in areas such as the northern parts of the country, the event was not talked about much. The lack of education in the school systems regarding Juneteenth also plays a huge role in people’s lack of knowledge.
There are many rumors as to why it took two years for the news to be relayed to black slaves in Texas. One is that the messenger that was supposed to spread the news somehow didn’t make it through his journey. Another is that since the slaves were working in the cotton fields, their vast contribution to agriculture influenced a delay in relaying the news initially.
Frazier explains that although this event did mark a notion of freedom and equality, she feels that there are still some freedoms that African Americans can not participate in due to systemic racism issues still present in the U.S. today.
Events to participate in today are the March of Solidarity that will take place at 5pm on MLK and Malcom X boulevard that will focus on voter registration and uniting together.
Pan African Connection, in South Dallas, is showcasing a Drive-In film to educate people on the History of African Americans.
Collin County will be doing health screenings, COVID-19 screenings, food boxes, voter registration, and more to celebrate Juneteenth.