Friday, June 19, 2020
APFA Commemorates Juneteenth
Juneteenth is the day that honors and recognizes when enslaved men and women in Texas found out they were free. While the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law in 1862, it took two and a half years for the news to reach enslaved Americans in the deepest parts of the South. Juneteenth is an update to America’s Independence Day as it represents the day that all slaves were notified that they were freed.
We encourage our members to learn more about this special holiday.
Various Resources to Learn More About This Important Date
- Why celebrating Juneteenth is more important now than ever, Vox (2018)
- So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth?, The New York Times (2020)
- Video: This Is Why Juneteenth Is Important for America, The Root
Language to Consider When Speaking About Slavery
When speaking about the history of slavery with your children, friends, or family, here is some language and preferred terms to consider adopting:
- Use “enslaved” (Africans, people, mothers, workers, artisans, children, etc.) as an adjective and not “slave” as a noun. People weren’t slaves; they were enslaved.
- Say “Enslaver” instead of “master,” which transmits the aspirations and values of the enslaving class without naming the practices they engaged. Alternatives: those who claimed people as property, those who held people in slavery, etc.
- Consider using not only the term “stolen labor,” but also “stolen labor, knowledge, and skills.”
Juneteenth celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States. We pause today to reflect and further our understanding of this painful time in history, especially as it relates to current events.
Clearly, there is more work to be done.