Make Juneteenth a National Holiday.

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Eric Jarmon
Eric Jarmon signed this petition

Greetings, the name of our organization is JMF Corporation. We are 501(C)(3) non profit, whose mission is to create a platform for educational and economic empowerment in youth and adults through creating engaging, large-scale events.

We lead the organization of a celebration in Denver, Colorado called Juneteenth, which honors the ending of slavery. It is celebrated across the United States and typically occurs every summer around Father’s Day Weekend. 

However you have arrived to this post, please know that we sincerely appreciate the time and consideration you will contribute before signing this petition. 

Please give us the chance to do two things:

1) Persuade you to celebrate Juneteenth with us and millions of others virtually on Thursday June 18, 2020 and

2. Most importantly, help you understand the importance of advocating to our nation’s leaders that we make Juneteenth a national holiday.

WHY? Because legislation has been created to reconcile the effects that slavery has had on our country and ALL its people, however it has failed in the most important piece, and that is creating a genuine opportunity for all of our hearts to heal. And Juneteenth is that remedy. Allow us to give you some background..

While thoroughly entrenched in this nation’s only civil war, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, changing the status of millions of Black people from slave to free. History books generally characterize this action as noble, However, Lincoln’s move was a desperate war measure used to take labor from the South and gain the upper hand in the bloody civil war. As a result, the Union netted 200,000 black soldiers tasked with fighting for their freedom.

The Civil War officially ended on April 9, 1865. Yet, most black people living in the West, specifically Texas, did not learn of Abraham Lincoln’s singing of the Emancipation Proclamation until June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Ganger and a group of troops riding in on horses, carried the song of freedom to Galveston, TX. making the announcement.

Juneteenth is the celebration of the day Black people learned of their freedom, two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. We repeat..

Juneteenth is the celebration of the day Black people learned of their freedom, two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The Dead Sea Scrolls of American History, rarely taught in schools and a reflection of a very sad reality. We as a country have failed to wholeheartedly acknowledge the institution of slavery.

Now, we must give credit to the legislation for equality that has been created over time. The 14th Amendment in 1868 giving Blacks equal protection under law. The 15th Amendment in 1870 giving Blacks the right to vote. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 for voter protection, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for equal employment to name a few.

What is clear is that slavery has dictated and influenced race relations in this country over the last 150 years. There has been a literal tug of war during that time period and that struggle will continue and potentially become more volatile until we first, work to heal our hearts.

Juneteenth!

Our city’s (Denver, Colorado) Juneteenth celebration, that we organize is.. beautiful. It’s a day that our best is on display. Rather if it is a BBQ vendor serving a 50 year old recipe, or a youth dance team trying to win a competition, or one of the greatest rappers of all time on stage giving a free show, And much more. A colorful bloom of culture stemming from the most brutal circumstances and parts of our history that have been systematically erased.

Through celebration our tragedy transforms to triumph.

This value is what our newest recognized holiday Juneteenth, the day of healing, will stand upon. A day for acknowledgment, acceptance, reconciliation and most importantly healing.

Our country’s racial issue and divide is hereditary. More often than not, new generations inherit their ancestors’ legacies and pain is not exempt.

As we have developed we have become more polarized, and more divided. This growing gap is painfully evident and reveals even broader risks as evidenced with our last presidential election. Recently the Soviet Union identified our greatest weakness as a nation and that is a country that is divided along lines of race, gender, age, and other differences that could make us stronger but have made us weak and vulnerable.

Over time we started to understand why Juneteenth should be a holiday through our work of organizing and trying to grow its platform.

Maintaining the authenticity, cultural identity and integrity of Juneteenth has been paramount for us. But we know and we've known that the celebration must be more inclusive to elevate our freedom movement.

In the fall of 2013 we were approached by a leader of an environmental group who wanted to bring our causes together. He wanted to build a partnership between our Juneteenth celebration and groups he worked with such as 350.org, Conservation Colorado and the Sierra Club.

We were initially very apprehensive and doubtful of incorporating large groups made up of mostly White people into our programming.. The leader challenged our groups to find our common denominator. Freedom and the pursuit of it. The partnership surely was and currently isn't always easy, but typically we find common ground to accept and embrace our differences and stand together at Juneteenth. The day all Americans were free.

We are proud to announce that over time this partnership is stronger than ever and has added tremendous value to Juneteenth’s platform.

Now let's go back to good ole Abe Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. And remember that we stated that this was a desperate war measure... If equality wasn’t genuinely in the hearts of the people of the nation, then what seeds were planted when Lincoln issued a mandate for freedom that wasn't collectively accepted?

We ask again, because this is the foundation of our point… If equality wasn’t genuinely in the hearts of the nation, then what seeds were planted when Lincoln issued a mandate for freedom that wasn't collectively accepted?

Look we are happy and think that we are blessed for Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, 14th and 15th Amendments, and Civil Rights Acts  that were put into order, however these efforts simply provided a structure.

There was and still are things that need to be resolved. Despite all of our legislative achievements, we still have fostered an environment that has led to tragedies such as Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, voter intimidation and disenfranchisement of people of color. These are issues that laws won’t fix, because they are born in the pain and hate that we have failed to address and acknowledge.

Now we understand that these ideas of Unity are idealistic..  Are ambitious to think that if our nation committed itself to healing it would bring people together?

Or do we just not try and make no effort.

We are making the effort.  And our festival this year, Thursday June 18, 2020 on www.JuneteenthMusicFestival.com  is an example of that. Please sign this petition, join us as we will begin to embark on our country's biggest hurdle. Continuing the fight for unity and advocacy for freedom

Thank you.

JMF Corporation (Juneteenth Music Festival)

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