Important Supreme Court decisions were made, some racist branding was changed, and white people discovered Juneteenth, all of which were all over the internet this week. Highlights: Juneteenth’s freedom, an archive of stories from people formerly enslaved, Black Lives Matter, Oluwatoyin Salau, the history of lynching, Rayshard Brooks, grieving through John Coltrane’s “Alabama,” what to do with racist films, Little Dragon’s Tiny Desk Concert, and pandemic time.
A lot of (white) people, (white) corporations, and (white) governments are celebrating Juneteenth for the first time this year, many of whom don’t have a real grasp on the holiday or its importance. This interactive piece from the New York Times is filled with articles, essays, poems, and more that encapsulate the history and significance of Juneteenth. “Recently, I heard Angela Davis talk about the radical imagination… And a fundamental requirement is believing that the world you want to come into existence can happen,” Saidiya Hartman, MacArthur fellow and author of Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, is quoted saying about the importance of the holiday. “I think that that is how black folks have engaged with and invested in and articulated freedom, as an ideal and as an everyday practice.” Writer Veronica Chambers agrees, and “as someone who has celebrated Juneteenth for a long time, I think we need it now — not in lieu of the freedom, justice and equality we are still fighting for — but in addition, because we have been fighting for so very long.”
I have not yet read everything included in this project by Chambers, Tracy Ma, Joanna Nikas, Choire Sicha, and others but I have enjoyed what I’ve gotten the chance to look through so far.