The Black Resilience in Colorado (BRIC) Fund Blog features the unique voices and perspectives of people who make up the diverse fabric of the Colorado community who are engaged in philanthropy. It's a platform to share their comments and opinions on how people in the Black community give back, discuss historical and current challenges, and illustrate Black resilience. This month, we invited Colorado Senator James Coleman, to share his thoughts on Juneteenth.
Juneteenth. Freedom Day. Jubilee Day. Cel-Liberation Day. All of that and more. It is a day of acknowledgment, affirmation, aspiration, and action.
Juneteenth is a day that acknowledges the grotesque enslavement of one group of people for the intentional benefit of another. It acknowledges that for one hundred and sixty-six years, an entire group of people were brutalized and berated to elevate the false ideology of the supremacy of one human over another because of the color of one’s skin. Juneteenth, Freedom Day acknowledges that our nation was built upon the brilliance, braun, and blood of a people that it did not see as equally human. Juneteenth is an acknowledgment of what was taken.
While Juneteenth acknowledges those atrocities, it simultaneously affirms the strength of a people. Africans, Black Americans, who, despite the chains of oppression and the deplorable physical brutality visited upon them, they built a nation. Juneteenth is an affirmation that without us, there is no USA. We honor and hold up those ancestors who were pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed but never enslaved to despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. We affirm them and boldly stand because of them. Juneteenth is the affirmation of what was given.
Juneteenth, Freedom Day is also about aspiration. This is a time for us to hope beyond our current circumstances, not bound but free, knowing there are no limits to what more we can achieve. All that we believe possible, is possible, and we will make it so. We have the audacity to have aspirations that align with the whispers of our ancestors that encourage us forward, further, and faster. Juneteenth is an aspiration of what can be.
Juneteenth, Jubilee Day is about actions that permanently shift the paradigm of possibilities. It is about the synchronous movements of free people that refuse to return to the yoke of slavery in any form. Juneteenth, Jubilee Day is a day of unapologetic action to improve the lives of our people and our neighbors. Juneteenth is about boldness, courage, and collaboration to move against all structures and systems that seek to enslave us again. Juneteenth is about our solidarity being our strength, knowing that an aligned free people will not be denied.
Juneteenth is about action.
Happy Juneteenth. Freedom Day. Jubilee Day. Cel-Liberation Day.
Senator James Coleman, Colorado