#iAM Juneteenth | 1865
If you are not a descendant of slaves you have no idea how it feels to be a descendant of American slaves.
My grandmother’s mother and grandmother were enslaved. My grandmother knew/loved them both. Her maternal grandmothers were enslaved.
You cannot know how it feels if you are not a descendant of slaves, the abuse they lived with, had babies with ate and bathed and slept with.
That is what slavery was about. Abuse of power. Abuse of human beings by other human beings. Abuse bred into my ancestors. Abuse that registers in the DNA of their progeny.
I’m not over it yet.
For now I rejoice that I knew and remember my grandmother. That my mother knew and remember her grandmother.
I enjoy their teacakes and cornbread and potato salad and fried everything the way the original mother fried everything. I feel no pride that their hands nurtured their own families not first but secondary.
Pre Juneteenth. June 19th 1865. My people were actual slaves. Make centuries of that lifestyle make sense to me.
I’m not celebrating freedom from bondage.
#iAM remembering my grandmothers and granddads and their brothers and sisters and children and all my cousins who came up from that sickness.
What Juneteenth means to me? It’s a new medicine infused with a little magic that gives Black American descendants of slaves an even bigger stake in the US legacy. We shall remain in your awareness. Live with it. Every ounce of abuse shall remain in ours.
I am Juneteenth. June 19th 1865. The day that untold the lie.
And we celebrate?
I’m too angry about that still, this Juneteenth 2021.
I’m happy for the people having parties and cookouts though.