On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, declaring that all persons held as slaves were henceforth freed. Juneteenth is a day that should be revered in its historical significance, is still mainly a regional holiday, if acknowledged at all. The celebration originated June 19th, hence the name Juneteenth, in 1865. On this day, in Galveston, Texas, the Union Army issued an order that freed thousands of slaves that were not aware of their freedom. Now celebrated, mostly in Texas and the Southern region of the United States by black people with joyous events, while also referencing struggles of the past and present.
A powerful theme can be extrapolated from that day in 1865 and can be traced back to the treatment of Black Americans in the United States today. While many Americans received their full-fledged Americans’ rights in the Bill of Rights, a swath of the population, such as Black Americans, received theirs from an amendment hundreds of years later (and many will never fully get their rights back). The paradoxical theme, which is present in 1865 and 2020 alike, is what we wish to present to all as Delayed Freedom.
We are creating a space for healing and education by way of revealing our stories in their rawest form. Through storytelling, we will explore the power, anger, and even joy in the delayed freedom Black People continue to face. We will use these stories to learn of past historic events, identify current societal blind spots and reimagine what the world could look like for Black People across the Globe. Simply put, we want to give our community permission to change the narrative by simply acknowledging how the current constructs affect us on a daily basis.