Freedom Day | Teen Ink

Freedom Day

June 5, 2013
By MJLoverNerd SILVER, Daingerfield, Texas
MJLoverNerd SILVER, Daingerfield, Texas
7 articles 2 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Before you judge me, try hard to love me."- Michael Jackson

Freedom Day.

Emancipation Day.

June 19th or “Juneteenth” as a lot of us call it. A commemoration of the end of slavery thanks to President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. What does this abolitionism really mean for a lot of us though? What’s so important about “Juneteenth” even today? June 18, 1865 a Union General named Gordon Granger arrived in Texas, with his troops, to enforce the new order on the slaves. June 19th, 1865 in Galveston, General Granger read to the people of Texas “General Order No. 3” Since that historical day, “Juneteenth” had become a major and exuberant celebration for the now freed slaves and passed on through their descendents because this right important even in time, marked a big portion of African-American heritage and history. On June 19th is a time for merry revelment among the African-American and Black communities. Why? Because on this day we are rejoicing in the fact that our ancestors had finally been freed. Now keeping this in mind, does that mean we will ever truly be free in every sense of those words?

Let’s talk about something else for a minute. Discrimination. Being judged by sex, skin color, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, social income, and a host of other things. We all know about the hate, bigotry, prejudice, and very much inequity of discrimination. We’ve all had to deal with it in one way or another. When labels get thrown around like rich, poor, fat, skinny, or in not so nicer terms, words like: faggot. This differentiation we place among ourselves, it inspires a lot of repugnance.

Being an African-American or well Black, to be politically yet unpolitically correct, there is not a day that goes by where my content of character can’t get by because of color of my skin. I’m judged and bullied from my looks, to my grades, to how much money my family makes. What’s worse is the stereotypes people place on me. For example: Being loud and ignorant. I’m the girl whose nose is always in her book. I never say anything to anyone unless I’m being spoken to. But to other people’s perception, without getting to know me, they may think of me as the loud, in-your-face, “ghetto” chick. Another example is the way I speak. A lot of people tell me how proper I sound when I talk. They get a look of amusement and tell me I sound educated like a white person because my vocabulary isn’t built up of slang like “a typical black person”. I even get this statement from other blacks in my community. Other things that puzzle other people about me is when they feel in my hair, they feel my actual hair that grows from my own scalp or that I eat other things besides fried chicken. These silly assumptions that I hear everyday tickle me. Because no matter what, some people just really can’t get pass the mindset that not everyone is the same.

Just because I’m black doesn’t limit me to what I’m capable of achieving. Just because I’m black doesn’t mean I can’t have the highest grades and test scores of my class. Just because I’m black doesn’t mean I’m like that black person you saw on television the other night. It doesn’t matter what the color of my skin is, judge me, critique me, evaluate me based on my character, my willpower, and my abilities to accomplish my goals and missions in life, not just the prevalent obscured perspective that is too far known in this so called “meticulous” society. I’m an individual. I have the right to be. So does everyone else. We shouldn’t be discriminated against just because we’re different from each other. What we are shouldn’t incriminate who we are because nobody of any race is the same.

The author's comments:
I take pride in being who I am. I try to look past all the prejudice that comes in life. Issues like racism and stereotypes, no matter what race or ethnic you are, shouldn't and sometimes can't be ignored. I believe in the right to being an individual from "society". I believe in the right to be different from everyone else because being different shouldn't get you judged. If we're gonna be a diverse nation, we need to start acting like it.

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