Window dressing, or the road to change?
We spoke with Opal Lee, 93, who saw major success this year in her decades-old campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday. “We’re gonna go through struggle after struggle until we come to the Promised Land. You gotta have some hope, because hopelessness wears you out, it drains you,” Lee told Rachel Jones for Nat Geo. “Even though there’s still much work to be done, we have to celebrate the freedom that we have. That’s what Juneteenth is about: celebrating freedom each step of the way.”
These are attempts to remember, recognize, repair, and rebuild a nation stunted by injustice—and unequal treatment of its people, historian Thomas J. Sugrue tells us. There is an unusual focus, as unemployment