|Today, we celebrate Juneteenth for the 157th time – and the 2nd time as an official federal holiday.
On a day with so much symbolism for Black Americans, it’s not lost on me that the legacy of slavery, racism, and the struggle for equality – from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter – has had a profound impact on my own life.
My father Lucien was the first Black dentist in Joliet, Illinois where I grew up – as well as president of the state chapter of the NAACP. I joined him at the March on Washington in a stroller, and I have many childhood memories of participating in protests, demonstrations, and marches during the 1960s.
After graduating from an HBCU, I joined Delta Airlines and had a long career as a flight attendant. I loved the flexibility it afforded me to be home with my son Jordan every night for dinner, especially after I became a single mom.
Then almost a decade ago, my world was rocked when my 17-year-old son was shot in a hate-fueled killing. His murderer parked next to Jordan and his friends at a gas station. He quickly became angry that my son and his friends wouldn’t turn down their car stereo. Then, he started an altercation that ended with him firing ten rounds into the side of their parked SUV.
The man who murdered my son referred to the music he was playing in the car as “thug music.” The open disdain for my son and his friends is disgusting, and far too common in our country. Had this not been the case, Jordan would likely be alive today.
Today’s celebration of Juneteenth as a federal holiday matters. The power of our stories matter. The fact that Georgia’s 7th District just sent someone like me back to Congress for another term matters.
Lucy has dedicated her life’s work to preventing gun violence, and she needs our movement to continue standing strong beside her. Please consider making a donation to help Lucy continue to lead our fight for gun safety reform in the halls of Congress.