This story was supported by the Draft Report of Economic Difficulties a non-profit journalism organization.
Dating back thousands of years, the Jubilee was a momentous celebration, a year in which land would be returned, debts forgiven and enslaved people freed. announced by the strong explosion of a ram’s horn, biblical scholars notethe jubilee year was based on the idea of freedom, orchestrating economic, cultural and moral change rearrangement of society. It is fitting, then, that Juneteenth is often known as the day of jubilee.
In January 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation abolished slavery, stating “all persons held as slaves” be “free forever.” But it wasn’t until two years later, on June 19, 1865, that news of liberation finally reached the enslaved in Galveston, Texas. Juneteenth, sometimes called Black Independence Day or Freedom Day, honors this current end of slavery.
In a way, the Emancipation Proclamation functioned as the first and only Jubilee for African Americans; in fact, the “Jubilee” is what used to enslave people. called the phase that followed the Civil War. Abolition ended an entire sweatshop economy that essentially built the modern capitalist world. But the Emancipation Proclamation went beyond requiring the Confederate states to simply recognize the abolition of slavery: it also educated the United States government to “maintain” the freedom of formerly enslaved persons, and not to perform “any act or acts to repress such persons” or any “effort they may make for their actual freedom.” Today, in a marked departure from President Abraham Lincoln’s instructions, the government continues to sanction and facilitate the oppression of black people.
Sharecropping, convict leasing, medical racism, mass incarceration, police and other racist institutions trapped Black Americans in cycles of debt bondage, indentured servitude, and suffering. Forced to finance public goods and their own incarceration with debt, blacks bear the brunt of students, medical, and criminal legal debt. Universities, hospitals, police departments, and the for-profit prison industrial complex rely (literally) on their schemes to put Black communities in debt. Just a decade ago, in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, racist housing practices and job loss wiped out more than a half of black wealth.
As a result, the current gap between black and white homeownership is wider than it was more than 50 years ago. From the three-fifths compromise to prison and racial gerrymandering, politicians have repeatedly dismantled black political power, making voting rights weaker for African Americans than in 1965, when the Voting Rights Act was first passed. The scourge of gun violence and the school-to-prison pipeline have stolen the future from black children. black girls are disappearing at an inordinate rate and black trans women have a Life expectancy around the age required to be president: 35. If you are black, your chances of incarceration increase almost five times. If she’s a black woman in New York City, her chance of dying in childbirth increases eight times. Unfortunately, African Americans make up 13% of the US population and 40% of people in death row.