Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is an annual holiday celebrated on June 19th in the United States. The holiday commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans and marks the day when the news of their freedom reached Galveston, Texas, in 1865.
Juneteenth serves as a significant reminder of the end of slavery in the United States and the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality. It is an occasion for African Americans and others to celebrate and reflect upon the achievements, contributions, and resilience of African Americans throughout history.
As Muslims, we believe that racism and racial disparity are unjust. In his last sermon, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black, nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”
An American Muslim Civil Rights Journey
In the video below, a group of approximately 30 civil rights leaders from the American Muslim community embarked on a journey through Alabama to gain knowledge about slavery, lynching, segregation, and the ongoing issue of racial injustice. Captured in a 21-minute film, the leaders participated in various educational experiences, including witnessing the inauguration of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery. They also had the opportunity to learn from experts at significant sites such as the historic 16th Street Baptist Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Civil Rights Memorial.
Intimate and moving testimonies from American Muslims, particularly African-American Muslims, who personally experienced segregation and Jim Crow laws, are featured in the CAIR film. Throughout this voyage, their unique narratives bring about moving memories from their own life.