Educating Equality
6 min readJun 19, 2020

A Juneteenth reminder that “Knowledge is Power”

This is both a somber and exciting moment in Black history as we mark the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States. It is a somber moment as we remember the generations of African-Americans who suffered for 200 years under the brutality and oppression of slavery. It is a somber moment as we consider Jim Crow and the century of systemic racism that deprived the immediate descendants of slaves the equality, justice, and opportunity promised in the Emancipation Proclamation. And it is a somber moment as we mourn the victims of the continuing inequality, injustice, and prejudice within our country today.

But it is also an exciting moment in Black history. It is exciting because we are all part of an endeavor whose righteousness has been borne out again and again by each defeat of racism in America. It is exciting because as much as struggle and oppression have always symbolized this endeavor, it is becoming easier to see a real vision of equality and justice for African-Americans.

Dr. Martin Luther King during the Selma March, 1965

We have not yet fully realized Dr. King’s dream, but we have perhaps slipped into that moment between dreaming and waking where anything seems possible. Many of the key moments in the demand for black equality, justice, and dignity have centered on forcing legal and political changes intended to weaken and finally eliminate systems of racism. So perhaps the most exciting part of this moment is a greater willingness to discuss America’s culture of racism as the foundation of the systems of oppression used against African-Americans in this country from its’ founding to today.

There has been one truth throughout the centuries of struggle: once advancements in equality and justice have been secured the real test is preparing African-Americans for the new opportunities those advancements uncover. The most important tool the black community has used in every one of these instances has been education.