United Women in Faith Celebrate Juneteenth; And Importance of Continued Efforts to Ensure Freedom & Equality for Black Americans
June 16, 2022
DALLAS – Ahead of Juneteenth, Darlene Alfred, a United Women in Faith Board Member from the Central Texas Conference, and Emily Jones, the organization’s executive for racial justice, released the following statement:
“I often have very conflicting thoughts about Juneteenth and all that it represents,” Alfred said. “My mixed emotions come into play when I hear African Americans, particularly those in Texas, say this is “our” Independence Day. When I hear people or groups promote celebrating Juneteenth and NOT Independence Day in this country because it’s “our day.” I think of the days of “separate but equal.” That mindset without informed intentionality, in my opinion, is very dangerous and can draw an even bigger divide between us. Should we celebrate Juneteenth? Definitely! Should we also recognize that this and other events in the history of the African Americans in this country can be argued as one of the founding fathers of systemic racism? Absolutely! I believe our celebrations should include the joy of community, family, and freedom. I also believe that these celebrations should be used as a platform towards knowledge, education, and civic involvement.
“As I thought of this Juneteenth, two old sayings came to mind; “I don’t know what I don’t know” and “You can’t teach what you don’t know.” These simple phrases speak volumes as our job as Christian women and community members is to support the education of our youth on our past and present, while keeping them engaged and informed for our future,” Alfred concluded.
“Juneteenth is an opportunity for non-Black Americans to not only acknowledge the enduring fight for freedom, but to commit to working alongside the Black community in the ongoing struggle against structural racism and anti-Blackness in all its many forms,” Jones added.