Porsha Williams wants every American to celebrate Juneteenth.
In honor of today’s holiday, The Real Housewives of Atlanta star has penned a powerful essay for Today.com, urging citizens across the country to embrace June 19 as day as important as Independence Day. For Williams, Juneteenth marks “how far we have come on this journey to equality,” but also serves as reminder for “how far we have to go.”
“These past few weeks of protests have again brought to light that what is going on in America is not OK. It’s disappointing and heartbreaking that reminders about social injustice against Black people are still needed, but this country has needed them before,” Williams, who is the granddaughter of Civil Rights activist Reverend Hosea Williams, writes. “It needed reminders in Selma, it needed reminders in the March on Washington, and today, Juneteenth, shows us that it has always needed reminders.”
As Williams details in her post, “Juneteenth is a day for us to recognize the physical end of slavery in America.” Juneteenth commemorates General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers’ June 19, 1865 arrival in Galveston, Texas, where they announced the end of the Civil War and that those still enslaved were free.
This appearance by Granger came “more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation,” Williams explains.