Friday, September 17, 2021

Cory A. Haywood: Dear Black People, Why Are You Celebrating ‘Juneteenth?’

Juneteenth in DC -IMG_2006-scaled-1*So … here we are, gleeful, throwing meat on the grill, dancing to Stevie Wonder, reciting poetry from Maya Angelou, and wearing T-shirts that say “Juneteenth” in big bold letters.

Yay! We did it! Juneteenth is finally a national holiday.

Yet, still, our communities showcase tragedy in ways that make Syria look like Disneyland.

I’ll put it to you this way – as we celebrate “Juneteenth,” the end of American slavery, a case could be made that blacks as a whole remain slaves to violence, poor education, even poorer health, financial illiteracy, economic ineptitude, and a host of other self-inflicted problems.

The dysfunction and buffoonery existent within black culture inflicts more damage to the majority than a slave master’s whip ever could.

But alas, instead of finding appropriate solutions to our problems, we’ve grown comfortable with the pageantry and pointlessness of Juneteenth celebrations and Black Lives Matter rallies.

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Juneteenth (celebrate freedom)Apparently, being “pro black” in 2021 doesn’t mean what it used to. In previous decades, calling yourself “pro black” indicated that you were committed to action – doing the things necessary to move the culture forward.

Today, despite the carnage and despair overtaking communities of color nationwide, we’re still focused on the past, and we’re ignoring the present.

We’re still sitting on our hands as if these issues will magically disappear.

We’re celebrating an era that passed nearly 200 years ago, while the signs of our current demise grow more evident and severe each day. We should be as intent on reversing our present conditions, and making sure that future generations have the tools and infrastructure they’ll need to thrive.

Otherwise, years from now, there won’t be much for us to celebrate – if anything at all.

It’s only Sunday and already 23 people have been shot in Chicago over the weekend.

That’s nearly two dozen victims – enough to fill an entire classroom.

Two of the shootings were fatal. But I guess that’s not really an issue, because, you know, blacks inflict pain and torment on each other everyday.

It’s part of our “illustrious” culture, and we’re slaves, unknowingly, to that culture.

Juneteenth - istock-1154863357We’re slaves to gun violence, single motherhood, abortion, mass incarceration, and welfare. We’re slaves to religious ideologies that were used to enslave our forefathers. We’re slaves to colorism, self-hatred, and drug abuse. We’re slaves to it all.

It’s the type of bondage that permanently sabotages progress, and shatters hope.

I’m sure that in the last 24 hours, dozens of shootings have occurred in predominantly black neighborhoods throughout cities like Detroit, St. Louis, New Orleans, Baltimore, and New York.

I’m also sure that today, Father’s Day, hundreds if not thousands of black single mothers will seize the opportunity to brag on social media about how they’re both “mother and father” to bastard children they produced with low grade men.

Our children, many of them, struggle to compete with their peers in school. Our churches lack integrity, honor and leadership. Our families lack structure and balance. Our bodies lack proper nutrition and exercise. Our neighborhoods lack cleanliness and safety. Our culture lacks depth and purpose. Yes! We’re fully enslaved to inadequacy.

Here we are, on the precipice of collapse, and y’all niggas wanna celebrate?

Well I’ll tell you what … ol whitey should be the one celebrating – because once again, he’s thrown you a bone (disguised as a holiday) to distract you from his continued wold dominance.

Sounds like slavery to me.

Cory Haywood
Cory A. Haywood

Cory A. Haywood is a Southern California based writer. Contact him via: [email protected] and/or visit his blog:, or send him a message on Twitter: @coryahaywood



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