To the editor:
Juneteenth is important to me and should be to the United States. Most news outlets, public figures and social media have blasted their pages and sites with the history of Juneteenth in the last several days. It commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. There is talk on the hill of making it a National Holiday.
However, many people see it as a Black holiday, especially around here where there is not as much diversity. Four of the major newspapers here in central Kansas had little to no mention of this day in their publications. What they did run was “canned news” articles from outside sources. As a proud American and Kansan this makes me very sad. Kansas played a pivotal role in the Civil War. We entered the Union as a free state and just three months later the Civil War began.
The name “Jayhawk” was given to Kansas Union voluntary soldiers during the Civil War. There is so much information to be found at the Kansas Historical Society on the history of the Civil War and Kansas. That should be enough to memorialize Juneteenth in Kansas, right? Sadly no.
As I stated earlier, many people look at it as a Black holiday that has nothing to do with them. I do not agree. Putting equality aside, as it is still an ongoing issue, let’s focus on slavery in and of itself. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is not just a victory for the Black slaves in Texas who found out they were finally free. The world agrees that slavery is wrong. It is no longer legal in the U.S. or anywhere in the world. I will say this again, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It is a whole of humanity victory. It is a deeply moral victory. It should be commemorated by all of us.