Joal Broun, a member of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School's Board of Education, continued reading the resolution.
“And be it resolved,” Broun continued, “that we, the African American elected officials in Orange County, do hereby pledge to continue the fight for civil rights and human rights that began 400 years ago, despite resistance, violence and discriminatory legislation or court decision.”
The proclamation, titled “Resolution in Recognition of our 400 Years” also promised to endeavor to disrupt intergenerational cycles of poverty, marginalization and disenfranchisement and reform a criminal justice system that has targeted people of color unfairly and unjustly.
Following the reading of the resolution and a recognition of past Black elected officials, Foushee introduced Freddie Parker, a professor of history at North Carolina Central University, to give a presentation on the history of Juneteenth.
“I can talk about Juneteenth, 1865, today by starting with a discussion of what is happening in America and around the world,” Parker said. “Surely we would be remiss if we did not weave the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin and many others into a history of racial terror and a blatant disregard for the Black body.”
Parker outlined a history of racial violence in the United States following Juneteenth, which he said was only the first stage of ending slavery in 1865 prior to the passage of the 13th Amendment in December of that year.
“To a great extent, what we saw in 1870 and 1871 in Alamance County, North Carolina, efforts to suppress the Black vote, we still see today,” Parker said. “The long lines we saw in Georgia we saw just three days ago were efforts to suppress the vote. Efforts by the president of the United States and others across the country are not at all different from (what) occurred in North Carolina and especially throughout the South in the late 19th century. But in the face of Jim Crow laws, lynching, voter suppression and racial terror in general, we must always look at how Black folk responded to their condition.”
He also discussed how disenfranchisement, betrayal by the government and the founding of hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan have shaped the lives of Black people since the ending of slavery, and continue to do so, but also discussed the myriad developments in legislation, education and organization that Black Americans have made in the face of adversity.
“Freedom continues to come with a huge price. It is our duty to continue the struggle to ensure that what happened on June 19, 1865, never leaves us, and we continue to ensure that it becomes a reality in every aspect of our lives," Parker said.
@DTHCityState | email@example.com