Welcome to Issue 14.3 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
As promised, today’s issue is devoted to Juneteenth, which is coming up this Friday.
“Juneteenth is a day that honors Black freedom and Black resistance, and centers Black people’s unique contribution to the struggle for justice in the U.S. This Juneteenth is a rare moment for our communities to proclaim in one voice that Black Lives Matter, and that we won’t tolerate anything less than justice for all our people.”
Juneteenth became an important date in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas received news that they were free. Texas, one of the most remote states, and recently recovering from its bout as its own country, was the last to share this crucial news with enslaved people. The first Juneteenth was celebrated a year later, in 1866.
One hundred and fifty-four years later, we’re finally, finally, as a nation, to make powerful demands that both “honor our ancestors [and] lay a path to freedom for future generations.”
Here are the demands:
If some of these obviously make sense to you, and others less so, I’ll offer this, which I heard in a call on Monday from Colette Pichon-Battle, one of the wisest organizers for racial and climate justice with us today. (You can find more Colette here. She said,
“White people, do not show up for Black lives because you want to help us. We are not a charity case. Fight for Black lives to save your humanity.”
There’s so much cultural and political context behind these words, but in short, I understood them to mean: the dehumanization of Black people in America is a dehumanization that non-Black people have been complicit in for 400 years. If non-Black people want to save our humanity, we must fight to end the war on Black people.
If that still doesn’t sit with you—we have 400 years of unlearning to do, now is a great time to start. Read a little bit here about what we’re up against.
This weekend, we have a tremendous opportunity to flank visionary Black leadership by supporting the Juneteenth mobilization. Find an event near you here; sign up to volunteer here; invite your friends on social media with these sample posts. You can also text the word DEFEND to the number 90975 to get text updates.
Please think about joining, supporting, amplifying, in whatever way you can, if you aren’t already. This is the revolution—we need everyone.
I didn’t have an animal for today, but thanks an incredibly timely text from Gavi, I have just been alerted to the existence of this phenomenal belly button bacteria.
Back soon from the superb Latifah Azlan.