Growing up in New Orleans, in many ways was like being raised in a time capsule. Field trips to plantations were apart of the Louisiana History curriculum. Reminders of slavery and the antebellum South were ever-present on St.Charles Avenue. Drums rang out from Congo Square on Sundays, and Juneteenth was celebrated right before Essence.
I don't think I truly understood the significance of Juneteenth until I was older because I was taught that the slaves were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. I later found out that slavery simply got re-branded to sharecropping and indentured servitude. It was re-branded again through Jim Crow and redlining. More recently, it was re-branded through constitutional amendments and capitalism. Larger financial institutions rose up in the place of slavery to create the generational wealth gap. Consumer debt is one of the current faces of slavery's re-brand.
Today, as we celebrate and acknowledge the liberation of the Texas slaves, please understand that we are still struggling to be free. Just like those Texan slaves, we are waiting for news of freedom. Delay is not denial. There's still hope. Happy Juneteenth!