As we enter the month of June, I want to take a moment to reflect on the significance of Juneteenth, which is celebrated on the 19th of June every year.
Juneteenth is a holiday that marks the end of slavery in the United States. It commemorates the day in 1865 when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that all slaves in Texas were free. This announcement came two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This historic event has since been recognized as a day to celebrate African American freedom, history, and culture.
While Juneteenth is a celebration of physical freedom, it’s also a reminder of the mental freedom that people of color have been striving to achieve for generations. Mental freedom is the ability to be your true self without any limitations imposed by external factors, such as race, gender, religion, or societal norms.
In today's world, mental freedom is just as important as physical freedom. Many people still experience mental constraints, whether it’s due to past traumas, social stigmas, or cultural expectations. As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, it’s an opportunity for us to reflect on how far we’ve come as a society and how much work we still need to do.
Juneteenth provides us with an opportunity to not only celebrate the progress made, but also to reflect on the impact of the ongoing racial disparities and systemic oppression in our communities. Mental freedom must be inclusive and available to all, regardless of their race, color, or creed.
In conclusion, as we approach this Juneteenth, let’s celebrate the achievements made so far, and continue to fight for mental freedom and equality for all. I hope you take the time to learn about the history and significance of this day and use it as an opportunity to start a conversation with your family, friends, and colleagues.
Candice Stubblefield, M.S
Christian Life and Mental Health Coach
Owner of The Wellness Haven Co.