The Black community has gone through a lot. They have seen the worst of times. The struggles, the relief of liberation, the satisfaction of being their own people instead of belonging to someone, bearing with the scepticism and segregation, and finally, the joy of making their mark in history. However, the biggest irony is that today’s Black community barely remembers the event that gave birth to the African-American community of today. If you find even one American asking, “what is Juneteenth?” then that despite seeping itself into the very essence of American culture, the Black community will continue to be “Black American” and not just “American.”Who we are and how we are actually looked at:
It may not seem like there is a big difference, but there is, in fact, a vital difference. The difference is in the way you are perceived. If you see a Black NBA player, it is normal, but there is still a sliver of a surprise if you see a Black lawyer. This may not be the case now as the Black community has come a long way in the 21st century in terms of having professionals in all the major disciplines—be its businessman, engineers, doctors, or lawyers; however, perception is still such an understated sentiment. There are still so-called “hoods,” which are predominantly underdeveloped black-dominated neighbourhoods, unnecessary business, and undue violence culminating in cases like George Floyd and Eric Garner.
The stereotype that followed “Black Lives Matter”
There was a Hip-Hop group in the 90s called the NWA. Even though it is very cliché and has become a stereotype in itself, they spoke about police brutality in Black-dominated neighbourhoods and resisting the police. In their songs, they painted a picture of the Black community’s struggles at the time. However, this is the 21st century, and these problems no longer happen. That’s what most of us thought till we started hearing about George Floyd, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown. Though this propelled the “Black Lives Matter” movement to the four corners of the globe, so to speak, it has brought us right back to stereotypes. The reason we keep stressing on stereotypes is that there are quite a few members of the Black community who don’t necessarily go through the struggles of poverty, illiteracy, and drugs; they might have had a privileged upbringing, and maybe they are doing well in life; whichever the case, these sections of the community on facing the stereotypes have become distant and feel isolated from the other members of the Black community.
Back to square Juneteenth
This brings us to Juneteenth. The day, the event, and its significance bind every member of the Black community and remind them that at the end of the day, that is where their families began, and what they have today is the effort of those who came before them. If this message is accepted and felt by every member of the Black community, then we are not that far from progress.
At Blacks United, we dream of the day the Black Community can stand as one, with camaraderie and a common belonging holding us together. Blacks first are just the start, and over time we might not even have to say it for the Black people themselves to pick up and support each other. We encourage you to join the community and be a part of this move forward. We started together, then let us move forward together as well!