On this most auspicious Juneteenth, we relay the voice of Tamara Winfrey-Harris, author of The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America. Excerpts from her op-ed below:
The reference to Ellison descends from his unfinished novel, Juneteenth:
“Words of Emancipation didn’t arrive until the middle of June so they called it Juneteenth. So that was it, the night of Juneteenth celebration, his mind went on. The celebration of a gaudy illusion.”
We are reminded of another Ellison quote, this one from Invisible Man:
“The clock ticked with empty urgency, as though trying to catch up with the time. In the street a siren howled.”
With that siren still howling, we close with the voice of Martha Redbone singing, No More Auction Blocks:
This week, we turn to Harvard history professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad, whose The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime and the Making of Urban America was re-released in 2019. Exposing the weaponization of crime statistics against black Americans, Muhammad meticulously documents how we arrived at this historic breaking point within the endless cycles of failed reform.
Below, excerpts from an interview on Democracy Now; images are George Floyd’s airborne words, inscribed against the sky as directed by artist Jammie Holmes, whose work we shall explore more thoroughly in a future DP.
This week, we stay with the voice of Bryan Stevenson, founding director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. In excerpts from an interview on PBS in 2016, Stevenson outlines the genesis of EJI’s powerful proposal for a National Lynching Memorial. Images are taken from the concept video, which can be — and should be — viewed in its entirety here.