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Honor Juneteenth: Protect Black History

It becomes clear that it is time to acknowledge and respect Black history in the same way we do with other widely celebrated holidays, such as Thanksgiving and July 4th. It is only right to afford Juneteenth the same respect and recognition. It is crucial to embrace the whole truth of our nation’s history and recognize the ongoing journey towards equality and justice for all.

Juneteenth is a federal holiday, but sometimes I wonder if white folk even know what this means.

Honoring Juneteenth is not only about recognizing the past but also about acknowledging the systemic injustices that have persisted since that historic day. We see this in the current legislation being passed, banning of books, and conversations around critical race theory. To truly honor Juneteenth and respect Black history we must confront the uncomfortable truths about our nation’s past.

The story of America’s independence cannot be fully understood without acknowledging the institution of slavery and the profound impact it had on the lives of millions.

African American businesswoman communicating with female job candidate during a meeting in the office.
African American businesswoman communicating with female job candidate during a meeting in the office. Credit: Getty Images

Abbott shuts down DEI offices on TX colleges

Just when you think Texas will do better to improve the educational experience for its students, it all suddenly becomes wishful thinking. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law a measure that will force all state-funded colleges and universities to close their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) offices. This decision comes at a time when the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to restrict the consideration of race in admissions decisions, reflecting a troubling trend of regressive decision-making.

The closure of DEI offices is a clear setback in the progress made towards fostering inclusive and diverse learning environments. These offices play a vital role in creating spaces where students from all backgrounds can thrive, offering support, resources and educational initiatives that promote understanding, empathy and collaboration. Critics of DEI efforts often label them as divisive or anti-white, misinterpreting their purpose, and clearly, they need to be out of their feelings and quick, because the purpose of DEI offices have been misconstrued.

Graduation ceremonies: Turn up or not?

Portrait of multiracial graduates holding diploma
Portrait of multiracial graduates holding diploma Credit: hryshchyshen – freepik

Graduation ceremonies are meant to be joyous occasions celebrating the hard work and achievements of students. However, recent incidents have shed light on the unjust treatment faced by some Black students during these pivotal moments. One such incident occurred at The Philadelphia High School for Girls where a graduate was denied her high school diploma after dancing on stage. This incident raises important questions about the fairness and sensitivity of graduation rules, particularly for Black students. Instead of celebrating her accomplishment, she found herself shedding tears of humiliation. The principal’s warning prohibiting cheers or claps from families, coupled with the subsequent denial of her diploma due to the audience’s laughter, only added to her distress.

Students have endured a lot these last few years, from the COVID-19 pandemic, mass school shootings, and mental health problems. Graduation ceremonies should be a time to celebrate the resilience of students. While maintaining decorum is important, it’s disheartening to witness their achievements overshadowed by rigid regulations. Hopefully, schools like this can revisit their rules to strike a balance between maintaining order and preserving the dignity and joy of graduating students.


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I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...