We’re debating what to do about rehearsal on Thursday because it’s Juneteenth and some of us have to drive through the “festival” areas to get to the church where we practice so there’s no way we’ll be able to start on time, but if we start too late then it’s not worth going at all that day.

Last year I had to drive down Locust to get to an evening audition at that same church and ended up being super late because I didn’t know about Juneteenth and I ended up getting stuck by all the people in the streets who couldn’t cross them faster than .83 mph, or who refused to use the sidewalks, or who were too busy intimidating drivers who wanted to continue driving towards their intended destinations to be able to find time to, you know, get out of the middle of the street…

And bear in mind that these roads weren’t closed off. There was no “festival” set up where I was. No events- formal or informal. Not really anything happening except people sitting in windows and on front stoops and in yards and on sidewalks and in parks and on curbs and milling around in the streets… I know there were things going on someplace else, but where I was there was nothing but people just kinda… hanging out.

And blocking traffic.

And yelling at you when you wanted to take your turn at a stop sign when you had the right of way.

Up to that point it was just annoying. But then–

I watched people in the streets pounding on cars that were trying to get through the crowds, and somehow just kept going like there was nothing to be afraid of. But you know what? There was. There were plenty of things to be afraid of. I was just too blindly optimistic to think there might be cops in riot gear a couple of streets over, or that people would actually break in my windows and pull me out of my car and start beating me in the street in celebration of a declaration read in Texas a hundred and fifty years ago.


Is that how we’re supposed to celebration the emancipation of the slaves? Is that what people lived and died for? Are the freedoms and rights people have been sacrificing themselves for snce the inception of this nation something to celebrate by making a mockery of justice by ignoring laws and committing violent crimes against innocent bystanders?

Happy Juneteenth, everybody…


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