African AmericansBlack History

Juneteenth: A Sacred Day


Juneteenth: A Sacred Day

What to the slave is the fourth of July
The orator at the podium did ask,
A Black man looking upon the sea of white faces
Perplexed and angry as he was about his task.
Today I likewise am tossed to and fro
On this day especially so
And then I ask above the noise of the crowd
What to the white person like me is June 19.
We know a few things of its history
At least some of us think we do
For some that great unspoken mystery
All of it known by the chosen few.
First it was just for Texas
And then it spread throughout the land
And it became a national holiday                        
With the pen in the president’s hand.
Freedom was hidden from the enslaved ones
By brutal enslavers demanding one last crop
Made by those who labored ‘neath the Texas sun
Days to weeks to months, time was soon to run out.
And then Granger came ashore at Galveston
With thousands of dark soldiers all there in view
To bring a message of freedom and unchained
Joy unspeakable, hope was something brand new.
Juneteenth, just for those born black
And July the 4th for the pale-faced crowd
And now that it’s a holiday
Tell me, just for whom is it allowed.
Once I was told a profound thing
“The fourth of July is for those who look like you,
“Juneteenth is for my people, those who look like me,”
Then and there my opinion changed of the red, white, and blue.
I have never been held captive
Owned by a brutal master like a pig or a bale of cotton
My friends have ancestors who bore on their backs
The scars for them, wealth for all others, ill-begotten.
So, I think that Juneteenth is not for me
Although I want to understand as best I can
What Juneteenth means for Mr. Lee
Whose blood is on his land.
Why should white people appropriate a day
That honors the blood, sweat, and tears
Of freedom bought and families rejoined
Of those who picked the man’s cotton year after year.
So, I’ll honor my friends and their legacy
I’ll learn more about horrors of the chains
Of what people long endured both before and since
Martin and Malcom, Rosa, and others came.
And today I’ll think of the people owned by my people
The old man named Joe, the elderly woman named Ann
I’ll call the names of her children, Ben, Patti, and Mandi
And children named Dick, Jim, and Alford, possessed by the man.
And I’ll pause and say a prayer for Black farmers
Whose ancestors lie beneath the sod
Whose DNA is in the soil, Willie, Richard, Matthew
And those still here, Robert, Michael, and Dexter, by the grace of God.
And others, long forgotten and long owned
Their unmarked graves lie here, there, and everywhere
And then that day that freedom came
And no more auction block their song.
Freedom! Hallelujah! thank you Lord!
Joy! Freedom! Hallelujah!
Thank God almighty we’re free at last!
Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we’re free at last!


Wayon Hinson, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist, a researcher, and an advocate in matters related to social justice.  He is a gifted storyteller in the search for justice for the oppressed and marginalized people.  To learn more about Dr. Hinson click here to visit his blog, “Let Justice Ring.”

Black Men In
Since our launch in 2001, Black Men In has evolved from a news site focusing on black men to a well-rounded social, current events and political website featuring content that people want to share and talk about.  We have thought-provoking content that aims to educate, entertain and inspire our site visitors to become good citizens and role models in their community.  Please do not use this site to post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane or indecent information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law. You alone are responsible for the material you post.

Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson Has Earned The Right To Take Us Back In History

Previous article

Talking Sports with Ron Harris

Next article

You may also like


Leave a Reply