“Juneteenth.” Many Americans have never heard of Juneteenth—June 19th, a holiday of special significance to Americans of African Descent. Sometimes called the Black Fourth of July, its story should be compelling to all citizens of the US—not just to those who descend from former slaves. What is Juneteenth? How does this day affect all Americans in ways they might not imagine? Civil rights icon Dr. William Anderson, political commentator and entrepreneur Armstrong Williams, BET co-founder and philanthropist Robert Johnson, and entrepreneur and educator Dr. Iva Carruthers join Edwin for conversations on the history of emancipation and the current state of civil rights in the US.
Robin Washington, editor at The Forward, points out that General Granger’s announcement of the Proclamation was less to inform the enslaved, many of whom already knew, but to make sure that slaveholders knew—and that the Federal Government was willing to enforce the order, at bayonet point if necessary.
2021 was the centennial of the massacre. Survivors’ accounts were shared, and some gestures toward accountability entertained. But by 2023, the city was attempting to have a lawsuit dismissed, prompting advocates to speculate that the city hopes that the clock will run out—that the last survivor will die—before any restitution measures are actually implemented.