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Friday, June 19, 2009

Celebrate World Free Your Mind Day – June 19th.

I spent this Juneteenth thinking about what my family would have been like if my great-great-granddaddy Griffin Henry Belk hadn’t walked off that plantation when he did. I expect it would have made a huge difference, because when Griffin Henry Belk left, he was able to travel (searching for his parents), purchase land (160 acres for $11 in Ozan, Arkansas), and generally prepare to provide for his wife and five children to come.

So I woke up Juneteenth morning and told my daughter about her great-great-great-granddaddy. Even though she’s only two, I expect it resonated with her, or will soon. But when I wished Kwadjo a Happy Juneteenth, I thought, “How is this holiday - my favorite one - relevant to him?” But thinking about Griffin Henry Belk made me realize how Juneteenth is relevant to each of us.

See, Griffin Henry Belk was enslaved, but he didn’t need the Emancipation Proclamation to know that he was free. He was already free in his mind. and since it’s most important to recognize and cultivate your own freedom, in honor of all those everywhere who struggle to be free, I declare June 19th World Free Your Mind Day! Now that’s something we can all celebrate with pride!

O happy day!

"There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." - Edith Wharton