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Freedom, Breathe In

It is Juneteenth, a day to recognize an emancipation delayed. It commemorates the day General Gordon Granger read aloud General Order Number 3 in Galveston from the balcony of Ashton Villa. The day punctuates one step in our country's continued progress towards our founding ideals:

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Nearly five years ago, Pharrell Williams released a video to accompany his mesmerizing song "Freedom." Add that to the list of things I learned today from a cursory Google search. Watching it reminds us of the balance between solemnity and elation— between resolve and rest. It reminds us that with victory comes responsibility— responsibility to recognize there is always work to be done.

Juneteenth is a day we are called to action. Slavery did not end in 1865. The Emancipation Proclamation had not applied to states in Union-held territory, and our Thirteenth Amendment was not ratified until December 6, 1865. In Texas, formerly enslaved people were granted legal status in a series of Texas Supreme Court decisions between 1868 and 1874.

Still too, today, there is work to be done in the United States and around the world.

At Margin Fade, a tenant of our travel philosophy is that we have a duty to recognize, empathize with, and understand the people in the spaces we occupy. To ignore our fellow humans in the pursuit of some sensual gratification (a majestic vista or a decision dish) is to miss the meaning of travel —and life itself. We travel to gain perspective. We strive to not project the world through an unchallenged, stagnant mind. That is a pursuit, like the pursuit of freedom, that is charged to us all and never ends.


This article also led to a review. of The New York Times' "We Need to Talk About the Giving Tree" by Adam Grant and Allison Sweet Grant.

The term "Juneteenth" is a portmanteau, meaning a linguistic blend of words (June and Nineteenth).

Dates and specifics regarding Juneteenth are taken from the Wikipedia article.

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