By: Travis Jackson

My name is Travis Jackson. I am an Iraq Veteran, Bisexual/Queer, and Black Lives Matter activist.

Since 2015, I have been a part of the movement. During my time as a BLM activist, I have helped organized countless protests. Due to the second-degree murder of George Floyd, last year (2020) was a historical year for the movement. It is because of the increased diversity and inclusion of different ethnicities and social groups.

When I hear the word Juneteenth, two words comes to mind: Black Liberation. Juneteenth is a day in which America remembers when black slaves were liberated from slavery. According to several historians, there were Black LGBTQ+ slaves. President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation September 22, 1862. Sadly, the deep South were still for slavery. Hence, Jim Crow Laws in the early to mid 20th Century.

Juneteenth is a very essential day to keep in mind. Our history books have taught that Black/African Americans are liberated but they are still held by several shackles (systemic racial barriers). These barriers tie into healthcare, employment, education, voting, and housing benefits denied. Though Juneteenth has been declared a federal holiday, through President Biden’s signature on June 17, 2021, there is still plenty of racial justice goals to accomplish in America.

If Black/African Americans truly had liberty, then why are they still seen by our government as statistics or numbers rather than humans? If they were emancipated, then why is there an ongoing racial justice protest to bring awareness towards police brutality on black communities? Why is there such a strong support from our government officials to put in place voter restrictions? Why are black LGBTQ+ people facing more harsh criminalization than white LGBTQ+ people for just their existence?

Being black in America is an automatic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Translation: Being black in America is automatically suffering from alertness, unknown fear, and nightmares due to systemic racism. When I think of Juneteenth, more words come to mind: There’s still more work to be accomplished to ensure Black/African Americans have real freedom in America. In the name of Racial Justice!!!

Thank you for reading. Godspeed.

No Justice, No Sleep ~~ All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter ~~ Denial of Racism is Racism ~~