As an organization dedicated to supporting children and families in crisis, we recognize that holidays can be a delicate and nuanced time for many. In this series, Purposeful Perspectives, we asked our staff members to select a season, month, or day that is meaningful to them to share with our CASA community. Thank you for joining us as we take a deeper look behind the celebrations that fill our lives.

A Day to Celebrate and Mourn

By Dr. LaFayette Young, Jr.

Picture this: It’s 1863, and the proclamation of freedom has been declared for all enslaved people. Yet, the news didn’t reach some in Texas and surrounding areas. The horrific injustice of enslavement, with its practices perpetuating inequity and discrimination, left scars that still affect us today. As we commemorate the liberation of children and families in 1865, we honor African American culture by educating ourselves about the profound impact of enslavement.

Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee, is a day to not only celebrate freedom but also to mourn the ongoing systemic injustices that affect Black Americans and, by extension, all of America. Juneteenth is not just Black history; it is American history. We owe our gratitude to the leaders who fought to make June 19th a federal holiday, acknowledging this significant chapter in our nation’s story.

I invite you to celebrate African American culture with dance, music, and food, honoring African American people not as a race construct, but as a vibrant and enduring culture. #doitfortheculture

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