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Grill Daddy: A Juneteenth Devotional

So there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen generations from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen generations from the exile to Babylon to the Christ. -Matthew 1:17 (Common English Bible)

I was born on the fourth of July. I have thought about what it means to be Black and born on Independence Day all my life. My mom’s family comes from Virginia and the Carolinas. Her parents were a part of the East Coast “great migration,” where Black folk moved to cities in the North to escape the white supremacist terrorism in the South. My maternal grandparent’s ancestors were enslaved in the United States.

My father’s side of the family comes from Jamaica. Let me tell you right now, celebrating Juneteenth when my ancestors were enslaved in this country, hits different than the 4th of July and its relationship to my grandparents who immigrated.

To understand the significance of Juneteenth, one has to contend with the reality of slavery as a form of native African ethnic genocide. Juneteenth is a “f*ck you” to not just the idea, but the 250-year spiritual and emotional sickness that one could own a Black person and do with them and to them what they will. Let’s be honest, it’s not like that mindset has shifted enough in this country, and yes the bar is low when it comes to, “It ain’t what it was.”

Call to Action:
We were all born into a historical and familial context. What is your ancestral relationship to national celebrations of liberation and freedom? Does it shape how you move through the world on those days or beyond?

Annanda Barclay

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