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Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

Juneteenth

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Happy Friday ZORA fam,

Let’s get right into it. Juneteenth is officially a federal holiday but… is that a good thing? It’s a nice gesture to have national recognition for a day with incredible significance to Black folks but is that all this is, a gesture?

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Will the meaning of the Juneteenth be lost now that all of America observes it? Right now, it’s a special day to celebrate Blackness and freedom and push for equality. …


True to its origins, this year’s Juneteenth combines incremental victory and continued struggle.

A woman wipes away tears after the names of Black people killed by police were read while marching to mark the Juneteenth holiday June 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Juneteenth is now an official federal holiday, with legislation creating “Juneteenth National Independence Day” having passed in the House and Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden. This victory is hard-won, the fruit of decades of activism from people like 94-year-old Opal Lee, who once walked from Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C., (at 89!) to push for federal recognition.

So finally, the U.S. is getting a national holiday dedicated to the emancipation of our enslaved ancestors. But it’s happening amid a concerted right-wing effort…


“It seems like we as a country have yet to figure out what it means to celebrate Black people.”

Photo credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Like many Black folks, I am perpetually exhausted by seeing the unexciting trend of a White person doing things that Black folks do every day and getting applause, clout, and cookout invitations for paying attention to Black culture. More egregious recent events have given way to popular discourse about gatekeeping Black culture, but it seems like we as a country have yet to figure out what it means to celebrate Black people.

In the present moment, many organizations are attempting to pay their just due from last summers’ racial reckonings with calls to buy Black, support Black businesses, and commemorate…


The day represents the end of slavery and the beginning of freedom for African Americans

The Oak Park Drill Team makes their way through North Minneapolis in parade formation as part of the Juneteenth celebrations in 1995. Photo: Star Tribune via Getty Images

Juneteenth Freedom Day, also referred to as Black Independence Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and just plain Juneteenth, is the celebration of the June 19, 1865 announcement by Union General Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas conveying the Civil War ended and all enslaved people were now free.

Most people assume the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freed the enslaved. For the longest time, I did too.

But like most American history I learned in school, there’s usually more to it.

This is what really happened.


Illustrations: Dani Pendergast

Astrology that centers women of color: June 15–June 21, 2020

As the week begins, we entertain the notions of war brewing under the surface. There is a challenge to evaluate our morality, review our beliefs, and examine the causes for which we are fighting. It is time for us to divest from delusions and be willing to (un)learn while we grow on these new battlefields.

As the moon enters Taurus on Tuesday, we could be feeling the weight of our needs and emotions. Taurus rules banks, currency, money, finance, and culture. We will be revisiting our conversations on the state of the economy and Covid-19-related deferments as they begin to…

ZORA

Celebrating and centering the experiences of women of color.

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