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Celebrating Juneteenth: Ieesha's Story

Juneteenth celebrates the commemoration of the emancipation of all slaves in the United States, marking the day when the Emancipation Proclamation was read in the most remote parts of Texas. Ieesha Barron, department coordinator, Acute and Tertiary Care, shares her memories of this celebration when she was young, and why the holiday is so important.

Please consider celebrating Juneteenth.

Growing up this was one of my favorite traditions.

We celebrated wearing our best red and white clothing. Red for the blood and white for victory.

Even the food was red.

The youngest member of the family capable of reading would read the Emancipation Proclamation. The family matriarch would recite from the Bible some passage of freedom, forgiveness, and thanksgiving

There were parades, food, and fireworks.

There was dancing and singing late into the night

My grandmother gave a speech every year to remind us why the day is necessary.

It is the commemoration of your African-American countryman. No different than remembering any fallen hero or persons of great importance who made sacrifices. It is the celebration of America taking a pivotal step toward recognizing the dream of a free and just land.

Build your own tradition, hang a flag, say happy Juneteenth to any person of any descent, however you wish to display. I hope you will consider it a proud celebration and great accomplishment.