Monday, July 04, 2016

Independence Day

July 4th is celebrated as our nation’s Independence Day, but for many African Americans, Juneteenth is the holiday that celebrates freedom and emancipation from slavery. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with an effective date of January 1, 1863, however the official end of the Civil War was not until April 1865,in light of the slow methods of communication and minimal number of Union troops to enforce Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Texas slaves continued to live in bondage until June 18th, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger and 2,000 troops arrived in Texas to enforce the emancipation of slaves. On June 19th, legend says that General Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation to everyone while standing on a villa. That day has since become known as Juneteenth, a combination of the word June and nineteenth. Former slaves in Galveston, Texas rejoiced in the streets with jubilant celebrations that became the start of the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery.

Our struggles today are still related to freedom. While we have made extraordinary gains, too often many in our community are left lagging behind the majority population in not only resources but the information necessary to gain those resources. Research shows that the median wealth for White families in 2013 was around $141,900, compared to Hispanics at about $13,700 and African Americans at about $11,000.The report demonstrates that wealth inequality is actually increasing, not decreasing over time. A gap in home ownership is quite evident according to reports as well. Reportedly on average, 71% of Whites own a home, compared to 41% of African Americans and 45% of Hispanics.

As we head to the backyard for hot dogs and burgers on this 4th of July, take a moment to reflect on the real meaning of freedom in 2016. How do you define freedom ?




Comments

1. Henry said...

Gives us something to think about.Some of us would celebrate Klan day if it meant a day off.Maybe Wendell could learn something from REAL History

2. Grace said...

Speaking Truth To Power!

3. Malcolm said...

While I am proud to be American.My ancestors built this country and I will continue to recognize and never accept the inequalities.The struggle continues for me. I aint going no where!

4. Long Time Listener said...

This truth is what made me so upset about the 1776 comments last week.July 4 1776 was a day independence for White Men only

5. New Fan said...

The 4th is not my Independence Day — and if you’re a Caucasian woman, it isn’t ours either. Our “independence” didn’t come for another 143 years, with the passage of The Woman’s Suffrage Amendment in 1919. The 4th of July is also not Independence Day for people of color. It wasn’t until the 15th Amendment was ratified in 1870 that all men had the right to vote regardless of race — on paper, that is, not in practice.People of color were systematically, and all too successfully, disenfranchised for another century. July 4th of 1776 was certainly not a day of Independence or reverence for Native Americans. It wasn’t until 1924 that Native Americans could unilaterally become citizens of the United States and have the voting rights to go with it

6. June said...

Trump wants to make America Great Again.What period of time does he want to take us back to. Make America All White Male Again?

7. Curious said...

Why do you make everything about race?

8. Rick said...

Every single American no matter their race has freedom today. If you don't want to celebrate then you should leave. Racism is dead in this country and we don't have time for pissy people who want to bring up garbage from the past that has nothing to do with this day and age.

9. Rick said...

This debate makes no sense.

The reason why I say that is because people seem to judge America based off things that happened 140 years ago. Yes, slavery was terrible, but we shouldn't judge our current state based off of the fact that people owned other people years ago. African Americans have had equal rights since the 1960's, and have kept those rights since.

10. ????????? said...

Slavery in the United States was the legal institution of chattel slavery that existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Slavery had been practiced in British North America from early colonial days, and was recognized in the Thirteen Colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

11. Barry said...

I find it ironic that the same Black folks who will berate the youth for their justification of using the dreaded “N” word by saying that they are “redefining the meaning to stand for something positive” have no problem redefining history so they can justify setting off firecrackers.

12. TC said...

Thanks for your commitment to the community and to truth

13. Newbie said...

The Constitution omitted us and we celebrate with firecrackers.😠

14. Kenneth said...

Freedom is being a proud African American and to be able to criticize and work to improve this country

15. Johnson said...

We have to decrease this wealth gap.Ecomomics trump racism

16. Leon said...

I hope you continue the conversation about our history.If not Trump and his cronies will continue to work to make America All White Again

17. Diane said...

Even Hispanics are doing better than us.Where are our civil rights organizations and churches?

18. Tonia said...

$141,000 for Whites and $11000 for us? And we still give all our monies to enrich pastors and politicians.We are a forgiving people. Damn shame

19. Jesse said...

Looking forward to this week's show.we need to dispel the myths that all is well and that we have arrived.We have work to do because they are working overtime to take us back further.

20. Trudy said...

Please share with Wendell:
The signers of the Declaration declared that "All men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Just White Men!

21. Kenny said...

Anyone who is a US citizen should celebrate the fourth of July , no matter what color they are. America was a country based on freedoms. In the Americas past their have been many issues with slavery, segregation, etc. But every country has their own problems. Everyone should celebrate the fourth of July, based on Americas original and basic truths.

22. Jamie said...

Tell it like it is! Being American does not mean we approve of everything she does or has done.

23. Martin said...

I would not want to live anywhere else.I agree ,we have come a long way but I hate it when people especially people of color whitewash the legacy of slavery and institutional racism

24. Trudy said...

Have you checked Wendell's facebook page Today? WOW!

25. Lewis said...

I celebrate America today,not 1776 America



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