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Kamal Bell Juneteenth Blog

Freedom to Grow

With Juneteenth and Father's Day being so close this year, I have reflected on my capability to provide for my family, a human right that my ancestors were never allowed because of their physical bondage. Whether it is working with the bees, planting crops, playing soccer with the kids, or looking for insects on the farm my family and I have established a relationship to the land that our ancestors did not have here in America.

IG: @SANKOFAFARMS | JUNE 23

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is celebrated on June 19th each year. It commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced the end of slavery, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. To honor this important aspect of history our family recognizes Juneteenth by spending time together on our farm, Sankofa Farms. Sankofa is a term that comes from West Africa and means “it is not taboo to fetch what has been left behind” - this name was intended to recognize the contributions of our ancestors.

For our family, we see Juneteenth as an opportunity to celebrate our history although it is something we do daily. The ability to gather as a unit on the farm offers us a chance to heal from the aspects of history that have heavily affected our current circumstances. With Juneteenth and Father's Day being so close this year, I have reflected on my capability to provide for my family, a human right that my ancestors were never allowed because of their physical bondage. Whether it is working with the bees, planting crops, playing soccer with the kids, or looking for insects on the farm my family and I have established a relationship to the land that our ancestors did not have here in America.

Even though I am not the best cook I do enjoy specific meals with my family during Juneteenth. My mother, who is amazing at anything she does, usually prepares black eyed peas, collard greens, cabbage, and cornbread. For my family and me, Father's Day and Juneteenth represent peace, prosperity, farming, and love.

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