Juneteenth is an annual holiday observing the end of slavery in the U.S. and marks the day (June 19, 1865) when news of emancipation reached people in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Galveston, Texas – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had been formally declared.
To celebrate Juneteenth and underscore our heartfelt understanding that Black Lives Matter, all Mental Health Colorado staff is taking time to reflect on the real and potential intersections among our mental health advocacy and antiracism.
We encourage you to read or discuss something with a friend, family or coworker. Not just on this day but every day.
- The New Jim Crow: Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. Praised by Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier as “brave and bold,” this book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness….Find out more.
- 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge: Dr. Moore shares a curriculum with suggested activities, readings, viewings, etc. Spending some time clicking around to see what he has included here would be a good reflective activity for starters. Click here to get started.
- Just Mercy: Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy is great book or film. You can read more about his Equal Justice Initiative here.
Colorado’s history is as grim as the history in every other state. While it may be difficult to read about, we need to get a sense of the legacy we need to acknowledge in order to overcome. Type in “Colorado’s history of racism” in Google and take a second to sift and read through what you find!
- Eyes on the Prize: A comprehensive documentary series about the civil rights era, with hard-to-believe live footage from 1954 into the 1980s. Watching this through requires a commitment over multiple days, but is very worthwhile—and really ought to be required history for all Americans.
- The 13th: A documentary that follows the legacy of slavery and racism into early 21st century drug war and criminal justice policies, including voter suppression, etc. etc.
- Berkeley in the Sixties: though narrated from the mostly white point of view of the freedom of speech movement, this film also does a pretty good job of including documentary footage and interviews which provide an account of the origins and development of the Black Panther movement. One of our Equitas National Advisor, Terry Kupers, got his start in forensic psychology when he was called into to assess the health of Black Panthers who’d been jailed en masse on scant charges in Los Angeles during a crackdown.
- Spike Lee’s Black KKKlansman: brings it close to home, as it’s based on the real experiences of a cop in Colorado Springs.
- Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing: If you haven’t seen Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, it’s about time you did. In fact, of all the things, if you had to choose one for starters…this might be the one.
There’s endless music which tells in lyrical fashion the history of racism in the U.S…some of it included in the soundtracks to the above mentioned Spike Lee films, as well as across the rest of his work. From Billie Holiday’s Strange Fruit to Public Enemy to N.W.A. to John Legend, Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill etc etc etc (the list is very long and still growing)—Black artists have been filling the airwaves with powerful protest for as long as we’ve had recorded music.