This is not a fundraiser — it’s Juneteenth!

You may notice a Juneteenth logo on the left side of the window, where we usually put a link to a fundraising page. This is a bit awkward, because we want to honor and celebrate Juneteenth, but not appropriate it, so we’re taking a low key approach. Various bloggers around Freethought blogs have written or will be writing about civil rights, liberation, justice, all those sorts of things associated with Juneteenth, and I’ll be linking to them on our fundraising page, which is not about fundraising, this time. Look for that to appear tomorrow.

It’s also awkward for us because, well, Freethoughtblogs has no African American bloggers. We used to, but you may have noticed that we have a fair amount of turnover here, with new blogs joining and old blogs departing, possibly because we’re a good place to get started with public engagement, but since we don’t pay our bloggers and we had the recent episode with a jerk trying to silence us with a lawsuit, there’s always the appeal of greener pastures. Also, we’re maybe a little too low key in advertising blogging opportunities — we do have an application process, but it’s subtly buried in the “About FtB” link in the top bar. I should probably do something about that.

Freethoughtblogs is committed to supporting a diverse network of bloggers here. If you’d like to join a socially conscious, diversity affirmative network, let us know!


  1. Doc Bill says

    I never heard of Juneteenth until I moved to Houston over 20 years ago. Even then, for years, I thought it was a jazz festival. There were concerts, food trucks, BBQ and all the trappings of a summer celebration.

    It was only after I heard Shiela Jackson Lee, our congressional rep, give a speech about Juneteenth that everything clicked and I realized why it was such a big deal. However, outside of Houston I didn’t think anybody was aware of it. Certainly not me raised in the South and the Southwest. Some liberal I turned out to be!

  2. says

    I heard about it in the Pacific Northwest as a wee young lad, but never participated in it. Minnesota Atheists was joining in the Juneteenth celebrations from before I moved here. I guess we white Yankees were at least vaguely aware.

  3. PaulBC says

    Doc Bill@1

    I never heard of Juneteenth until I moved to Houston over 20 years ago. Even then, for years, I thought it was a jazz festival. There were concerts, food trucks, BBQ and all the trappings of a summer celebration.

    That’s funny. I wonder if that was a common perception.

    I first heard the word as the name of Ralph Ellison’s unfinished novel, believed to be lost in a fire, but I didn’t know what it referred to. I think between learning about his lost manuscript and the actual publication of the novel posthumously in 1999, I had learned what it meant, but I have never lived anywhere that it’s celebrated (well except for the past couple of years).

  4. rabbitbrush says

    Michele Storms, Executive Director of the ACLU-WA, sent out a note on Juneteenth. It starts with:

    This Saturday is Juneteenth. It is a date I’ve always felt a little odd about. The date commemorates the moment when news of emancipation finally reached the many people laboring under enslavement in Texas: two and half years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation. We are celebrating the date that a big lie was revealed. The enslavers knew slavery was over; the enslaved did not.

    I do not wish to take away from the joy experienced by so many on that day long ago in 1865—freedom is freedom and so wonderful that it came! There must have been rejoicing at a scale I cannot even imagine. But I can’t get over the fact that the freedom was two and a half years overdue. Two and a half years more of forced labor, forced separation of families and abject cruelty. Against the backdrop of this current moment in which legislatures across the country are seeking to ban the teaching of The New York Times’ 1619 Project and critical race theory; in this moment when we have just acknowledged the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa massacre of Black Wall Street—well, the irony is stunning. Too many in this country want to continue to believe lies, especially about our country’s origins, although we have plenty of modern lies floating around as well. Black Lives Matter is a phrase and concept that must continually be asserted as a reminder when so much in this country would tell us otherwise.

  5. Doc Bill says

    PaulBC @ 3

    Dunno. Just out of my perceptive range. Working for the Man in a big Corporation, that stuff just wasn’t on my radar. On the fringe, perhaps.

    Shocking, but not surprising.

  6. lumipuna says

    In the words of a former president, Juneteenth is recognized more and more.

  7. snarkrates says

    rabbitbrush@4, We are also celebrating the day the US became just a tiny bit less hypocritical. Yes, white America inflicted and continues to inflict many horrors on black Americans since that time. However, everything done since that time (technically, after passage of the 15th Amendment) was illegal under the laws of the US of A. In my opinion, that is where we should start when it comes to reparations for black Americans. If we had a real legal system, it would be an open and shut case. And don’t give me that bullshit about affirmative action and gradual relief. White Americans have shown, they will never let gradual measures stand long enough to be effective. Lump fucking sum. Cash on the barrel.