Straight from the Mike…Not Just Another Holiday
It seems too easy, over time, to allow some holidays to become staid, on automatic pilot, and risk losing their true meaning. We risk seeing the commercial, recreational, and mediocrity of our time set in, and affecting the real meaning, and significance of a national holiday. However, our newest holiday, Juneteenth, will be one that will remain a constant mirror that fits so perfectly in the mosaic of exceptional holidays representing our heritage.
It’s about freedom. It is a reminder for me of the trip I may have already shared with you in an earlier column. I was part of a presidential delegation to Benin, Africa. It was on the final night there when I sat and chatted with the late former Wisconsin governor and college president of Wisconsin @ Madison, Lee Sherman Dreyfus. We asked each other, what was our takeaway from the trip? We were curious. What was it that struck us the most? In almost complete unison, we said, ‘The importance of freedom’. There is no substitute. There is no acceptable camouflage for freedom. It is so easy to take for granted and is the one attribute of our society and history so invaluable in every part of our life. We relish being an American primarily because we are free and share God’s gift of free will.
There is no reason why all, regardless of race, color or creed, cannot appreciate the historic relevancy of Juneteenth. Yes, freedom should be universal. Its true value is with the beholder. Its true relevancy is with the grantee, and as children of God; we owe it to the grantor above to be ever so mindful of such an invaluable gift.
We had another fitting weekend celebration in Marietta thanks to the Cobb Chapter of the NAACP. The aura of the spirit, the occasion, and history all presented themselves in a rainbow of colors and hues. It seemed with each blowing breeze that helped to provide a rather balmy afternoon on Saturday, the level of fellowship, casual and commercial setting all mellowed together for an impressive and fitting celebration.
Let us not forget those who laid the foundation, the terra firma, on the bedrock of history to make it known to even those who did not know at the time, you are free! Nevertheless, it is imperative that we all keep in mind that with freedom comes responsibility. We need to ensure that responsibility is surrounded by mutual respect and love for one another.
The three legs of the stool that is represented by diversity, inclusion, and equity provide the underpinnings for our momentum forward toward a beloved community. It becomes more obvious with each passing day. Let Juneteenth be a further affirmation that we are as good as the person next to us, across from us, next door to us, and represented by us. Pride is on our side.
Freedom is the prize. We must keep our eyes on it. May we never take this holiday for granted. Locally, we fought too hard to get into its rightful place on our calendar, indelibly.
Until next time…