If you look up Juneteenth, you’ll discover a few interesting facts:

1. The official date of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Abraham Lincoln to free all slaves, is actually January 1, 1863. NOT in June and NOT on the 19th.

2. NOT ALL SLAVES were actually freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves in Galveston, TX didn’t even KNOW they were freed until 2+ years later, on June 19, 1865, when a Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston and forced locals to comply. (Hence Juneteenth.)

3. “Though it was issued years prior, ENSLAVERS were held responsible for telling the enslaved they were free, and some ignored the directive.” (Chelsey Cox, “Juneteenth is Sunday, What’s the significance behind the federal holiday?“, USA Today.)

Can we stop right there for a hot minute?

Let me repeat that…

ENSLAVERS were responsible for telling their slaves that they’d been freed by Federal Government Order and SOME IGNORED THE DIRECTIVE.

That’s part of the power and privilege of being white in America.

We can simply ignore the directive.

And it’s still happening today.

Not because we can own slaves, but because we can own systems.

→ Like the banking systems that continue to call the cops on their own Black clients for cashing checks or offering lower mortgage rates to white customers than they do to their equally qualified Black and Brown counterparts.

→ Like the educational systems that (at best) give a passing nod to the lived experiences and histories of people of color and (at worst) refuse to acknowledge or talk about it at all.

→ Like the loan and appraisal systems that undervalue homes (and even entire neighborhoods) owned by Black people.

→ Like the policing systems, transportation systems, justice (or non-justice) systems, social work systems, and more.

And in owning the systems (either by actual deed or because white leadership tends to be the majority-to-ONLY leadership), we as a society can choose to ignore the directive that is written into the Declaration of Independence

That ALL HUMANS are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.


When we choose to ignore communities of color when they tell us they are hurting, we ignore the directive.

When they tell us abuse is happening and we do nothing, we ignore the directive.

When they tell us they are in danger and afraid and we tell them they are over exaggerating, lying, or being hostile, we ignore the directive.

And it shouldn’t take a Maj. Gen. rolling up in a tank (or another Black person being killed) for us to figure out how to make sure ALL of us… INCLUDING BLACK, BROWN, AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES… are free.

Happy Juneteenth! Let’s do better.

If I’ve offended you, I’m okay with that. This is your call to do better research. Look more deeply into history. Ask yourself why being challenged in this way upsets you so much and why you’d rather fight with me than consider that there just MIGHT be something you’ve missed.

If I’ve stirred you, good. Let’s keep taking this journey together.

Either way, I invite you to join me for the ON THE MATTER OF RACE LIVE SUMMIT (created by Lynne Maureen Hurdle) to learn more.



→ Were taught the way not to be racist is to treat people the way you want to be treated.
→ Tend to whisper the word “Black” because talking about race was considered impolite in your household.
→ Have never heard white people talking about systemic racism, privilege, and power, and their effects on BIPOC
→ Believe you don’t see color.
→ Feel triggered by everything I’ve said AND want to understand why.
→ Just don’t know how to talk about racism or what to even do about it.

(I get it. It can feel so overwhelming. Like I said, the OTMR Summit is the best place to start.)


→ Just need to be validated in your feelings about and experiences with racism. (You’re not alone!)
→ Need to gather with others to hear how other BIPOC are engaging in the fight against racism in their own fields.
→ Want to hear from white people who are learning about racism and its effects on BIPOC and are using their privilege and power in the right way.
→ Want to strengthen their own work in this area.

Love y’all so freaking much,

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