Letter: Celebrating Juneteenth in Laguna Beach

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Juneteenth deserves to be celebrated and acknowledged in our history books. Thank you, Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center, for joining in the celebration, a first for our community.

It sounds as though your guests left understanding why it took two and a half years for the slaves in Texas to know of their freedom: masters frequently withheld important information from slaves. In this case, the masters wanted “free labor” to continue. But, upon becoming free many remained on the property, after all they were deprived of their “absolute rights” ( Henry L. Gates, Jr. in 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro, Oct. 2017).
Your celebration echoes a Texas Juneteenth celebration: family and friends gather, reminiscing about the past and planting prayers for the future. They typically attended church service where they heard sermons, lots of singing, food (barbecue), dancing, and games.

Again, thank you Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center for taking measures to acknowledge and celebrate Juneteenth.

Rebecca Washington-Lindsey, Laguna Beach

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