Your introduction to the masses is bittersweet.
Yet, I welcome the national recognition and
illumination of a glorious day in black history.
You’re familiar to some and unfamiliar to others.
Our country will now spotlight your importance by
acknowledging you’re worthy of being remembered.
The nation seems to be moving toward
necessary change for the equitable treatment of all
citizens. The tragic past can serve as a lesson for the future.
I can imagine our enslaved ancestors’ expectations of living
a life of impartiality after the War Between the States
You’re official, and I can cautiously say that hope is
on my horizon. You are no longer a footnote on the
pages of history.
Legislation marking a day of freedom for the last of this
nation’s enslaved people is fine and good. The work of that freedom
proposed so long ago remains in progress.
The dream of my people’s promised equality will remain
unrealized in my lifetime. My grandchildren may live to
experience the fruits of their ancestors’ labors.
Today, I embrace the small victories won by past heroes
in the fight for black people’s equality. The smell of
healing is in the air. We must not linger in our efforts.
But the struggle for true equality and all it entails is real.
Recognition of a past marred with inhumanity is a
great move forward. We make you official, Juneteenth.
Our nation honors its independence on July 4th.
Juneteenth, I believe the ancestors see you and give the nod.
I celebrate you and continue to hope.
©2021 R.H.W. Dorsey