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New/old holiday was just great

I had my best Juneteenth ever.

First, Joe Biden castigated Donald Trump for having a rally on Juneteenth in Tulsa. Then, Donald Trump rescheduled. Pretty good for a holiday few people knew existed.

But then, it got better. I got emails from Walgreens, Smithsonian and PBS about the holiday. That never happened before. A Wall Street Journal article reports a growing number of firms are making Juneteenth a paid holiday. Wow.

Until a couple of years ago, I knew nothing about Juneteenth. Then, I read about it in one of Dr. ChaJua’s commentaries. It sounded good to me. We should all celebrate freedom from slavery. I thought this should be a happy day. Kind of the American version of crossing the Red Sea and Good Friday.

Since I first learned about it, Juneteenth has been kind of a downer for me. Nobody seemed to have heard about it, and I didn’t want to ask. I thought people would see me as insensitive. I learned that Chicago didn’t celebrate because June had too many holidays. I couldn’t get up the courage to go the celebration at Douglass Park. I didn’t want to feel out of place.

But this year, Juneteenth is news. Hopefully next year I can celebrate.

JOHN ROSS

Champaign