I'm a descendent of slaves. It's not a fun thing to talk about. My great great grandfather was a child slave that was freed on a day like today and went north to find a better way to live and die. His son was a fire knocker. And his son (the grandson of a child slave) told me stories and taught me lessons I'll never forget before he died in my mothers care 6 months ago. My mother worked in a town where "Negroes" by law, where not allowed to spend the night.
Some say say that slavery and segregation was a long time ago. They're right but I've looked into the eyes of who it affected in my lifetime. My family escaped and did well. So many others did not.
Today on Juneteenth while we remember and celebrate the slaves that were freed let us also remember the good people who freed them. Being white doesn't mean you should feel guilt but it does mean you can feel pride and responsibility if you allow yourself to.
A white person enslaved my great great grandfather but another helped free him. A white person denied my great grandfather a job, spit on him and called him names but another took a chance on him. A white person sneered at my grandfather but another welcomed him to his desegregated world. A white person shook her head at my mother breaking the law when she stayed in a town where she was legally unwelcome but another struck down that law.
While I am the result of cruelty I am equally the result of kindness. It is a beautiful existence. Throughout time there will always be evil but good people have shown it can be overcome. Which person will you be today?