While the public celebrates Juneteenth in what is now the halfway point of a roller coaster year, it is important to note the true history behind why we celebrate. The day’s significance isn’t to recognize the end of slavery. Rather, June 19, 1865 is the day that federal orders for the emancipation of enslaved Africans were announced. Only, the declaration had been made official nearly two-and-a-half years prior.
With the holiday gaining traction throughout the country (it is currently recognized in 47 states) including New York City mayor, Bill DeBlasio announcing an executive order that recognizes “Juneteenth” as an official city and school holiday. People of African ancestry celebrate our forefathers, yet we remember their pain, endurance and suffering and do not take it for granted.
In the same vein, Hip Hop has served as a diary for Black struggle. With a 400-year head start to make up for, many rappers have recognized the need for unity, as well as establishing our own financial footprint in the United States (the same way other races have been allowed to).
So, here is a playlist of songs that motivates us to become the proprietors of our own destiny.