Next Sunday is Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day. Juneteenth commemorates an important step towards the end of slavery in the United States. It was only recently declared a federal holiday. On this day, the nation comes together to acknowledge and celebrate the end of the Civil War and chattel slavery in this country. On June 19th 1865 the Emancipation Proclamation was read in Galveston, Texas, almost three years after it had been issued and a month after the Civil War ended.
Many local communities are celebrating this holiday this year.
Our congregation should take pride in again being one of the financial sponsor’s of the local Juneteenth Celebration in Scotch Plains which will take place at the historic Shady Rest Golf and Country Club next Saturday. I encourage you to come join the celebration and revel in the moment. But also join in to acknowledge the importance of the ongoing struggle. While the Emancipation Proclamation declared slaves in the rebel states free, slavery continued in the Union until the passage of the 13th Amendment in December of 1865 and legal challenges persisted in Texas until 1874.
The legacy of slavery continues today. We need to raise our voices to pass legislation for the Reparation Task Force, to close youth prisons, for same day voter registration, and police accountability. You can do this by writing to legislators or by joining other UU’s and local organizations at the New Jersey Social Justice Institute March and Rally for Reparations, Justice, and Democracy in Newark NJ this Friday. (i will put some links in the chat with more information about writing legislators)
Celebrate Juneteenth as a way of telling those who would drag us backward that we will continue moving forward toward justice, equity, and equality for all.
Here are some links if you are interested in taking action and write to legislators
For Reparations Task Force http://www.400yearsnj.org/
To Close Youth Prisons http://kidsnotprisons.org/
Same-Day Voter Registration democracyinaday.org
Police Accountability policeaccountabilitynj.org
Juneteenth March and Rally for Reparations, Justice & Democracy
#150 Years is Enough
March and Rally in Newark June 17
Raise your voice to pass legislations for Reparations Task Force (A938/s386), invest in youth and close youth prisons, same day voter registration (A1966/s247) and for police accountability
12 pm March from Seated LincolnStatue (Market St & Springfield Ave.)
1:30 pm Rally at Newark City Hall (920 Broad St)
Masking and Social Distancing Encouraged
Social Justice Matters Juneteenth Celebration in Scotch Plains
Shady Rest Golf and Country Club
Tour the Shady Rest Museum
Vendors, Music, Mini Golf, workshops, Golf putting competition
This year there are many children activities
Amani – will play again from 6 to 7:30
For more info https://www.socialjusticematters.org/