A Candle for Remembrance; A Juneteenth Working by Crystal Blanton
Standing in the present, on the ground of history and with one foot in the future, I hold the significance of today in my heart and my mind.
To step into a future with willful intent, I must acknowledge the size of the step before me, and shine a light so that I can see it.
My past is as important as my future, for my ancestors are as relevant to my story as my children.
And so I light this candle in remembrance of the souls that died in physical, spiritual, social and mental pain….
I light this candle in remembrance of the children who watched the horror of slavery become their future.
I light this candle for the women who were taken again and again.
I light this candle for the men that were broken time after time.
I light this candle for the generations that have carried this pain in their psyche, a part of their unconscious schema.
I light the candle for those who fought and died before tasting freedom.
I light this candle for those who STILL fight.
I light this candle for all that experience the horror of history manifest throughout time, and through generations.
I light this candle for my White brothers and sisters today that carry the guilt of a pain they did not cause.
I light this candle for my Black brothers and sisters that know not who they are and are fighting through a whitewashed world to find the root of their souls.
I light this candle for JUSTICE.
I light this candle for the revolutionary then and now.
I light this candle for them.
I light this candle for you.
I light this candle for our children.
I light this candle for me.
I light this candle for healing.
And so it is… and it shall be.
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE FOREVER
So mote it be.
Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863.