Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Resources for Juneteenth


Wonder what might happen if every predominately white church in the nation made some special effort to celebrate Juneteenth this year?

What if just Texas congregations did so?

Just an idea and suggestion for white people of faith to consider.

Here is a wonderful resource page for such plans: http://coramarshall.com/news_juneteenth08.html.

If anyone takes me up on this idea, please let me know!


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12 comments:

Adam Gonnerman said...

Sounds like a great idea, and if I were with an American church I'd try to get something organized. I don't think the Brazilian immigrants I work with would feel much of a connection to it, though, as it relates to something so strongly felt in American history.

Larry James said...

Adam, thanks! What is an example of a cross cultural event or celebration among Brazilians that would make some sense and would stretch them at the same time?

Adam Gonnerman said...

That's a good question. Brazilian immigrants seem more concerned with maintaining their cultural identity (mostly as a comfort thing, I think, because they certainly aren't nationalists) in the midst of a large "foreign" culture. I'm going to have to mull that question over.

c hand said...

Do African Americans encourage white Juneteenth celebrations? Some might feel more possesive of the day.

Daniel Gray said...

No c hand, but African Americans gather and celebrate American holidays such as July 4th, in spite of the fact that Independence Day meant independence for whites and slaves were excluded from American independence.

c hand said...

I don't think anyone would seek to exclude any American from Fourth of July celebrations. But a blonde in a Miss Juneteenth pagent might be out of place. I would not want to crash a party uninvited.

A fairly large number of blacks served in the revolutionary army and earned citizenship. I'm not sure it's accurate to say slaves were excluded from American independence, though freedom was obviously delayed.

Larry James said...

My African American friends tell me it would be a welcomed development! How could it not be? All of us celebrating the arrival of freedom! "Woke up this mornin' with my mind stayed on freedom!"

Jeremy Gregg said...

c hand, I think that I know what you're feeling. I'm a white guy from a pretty wealthy background, and I was always concerned that, if I tried to get too involved in race discussions on the side of my African-American friends, that I would be seen as trying to co-opt a conversation to which I was not invited.

I am still trying to figure this out, but I mostly think that these feeling have more to do with my lack of comfort in these situation than any genuine concern over whether my African-American friends would truly want me there. I've never had a single experience in which I've felt "unwelcome" in such a conversation... though I have frequently opted out of them because of my own self-consciousness, fears, "white guilt," etc.

I say all of this to let you know that: a) you're not alone in your confusion, b) we white folk need to get over ourselves and do our best to celebrate EVERY occasion for recognition of human rights and equality.

I might be mis-stating myself here, but I think that any person who loves freedom and believes in the alienable rights of all of our brothers & sisters would be welcome at a Juneteenth gathering.

c hand said...

Yes, I am sure that I would be welcomed as another person. I think I'm just cautioning against false white guilt.

A white suburban church celebrating Juneteenth might sound like Hillary feigning a southern black dialect. Some people don't want to be patronized.

Anonymous said...

never know until you try c hand...

Anonymous said...

A key theme of Juneteenth is that even though the best among us proclaim, "There will be justice," justice doesn't automatically hit the street. Whites and the powerful can meet ethnic minorities and the poor in light of that reality for some serious Juneteenth discussion.

Jeff W

Larry James said...

c hand, not what I had in mind at all. Rather, an educational event that also allowed white people of faith make a connection between their faith and the reality of the world--past, present and future. Lots more to say, but I'll leave it here.