June 19th is the day my family celebrates my great-great grandmother (on my mother’s side) being liberated from slavery in Texas. My ancestors in Louisiana had been freed three years prior, but for some reason, the news didn’t make it to Texas.
Three grueling years. Three more years of selling my family, raping our matriarchs and ripping them from their children. Years wherein 200,000 black men enlisted in the “war.” Three years of illegal white profiteering that within the strictest sense of the law should be paid back with interest.
It’s heartbreaking to think how much time my family spent in ignorance of their legal status and that the legal status was mostly ineffectual—replaced by strict segregation, wage slavery, and heavy policing. That the illegal wealth made in those three years (to say the least) is the foundation of wealth for many Texas landowners I know today.
I’m not sure what kind of institutional influence you all have to right these wrongs, but at the very least, I would like you to send me your reparations every Juneteenth and 4th of July, as well as on days the government shows us black lives don’t matter to them.
You can find me on Vemno @chrissynae or PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org if any of the following is true for you:
- You’re white
- You have a white parent or grandparent who supports you financially
- Your family owns or currently owns land in the South
- Your family historically owned land above the Mason-Dixon line but were not abolitionists or running a safe house
- You or your family owned or owns land in a “free state” that enacted anti-black policies around land ownership or wealth accumulation
- You’re not white, but you or your family are bourgeoisies in an industry that was or is based on slavery
- You’re not white ,but your family was able to buy land that blacks were prohibited from
- You’re not black and currently own or rent a home in a Sunset Town
- You come from a long line of police officers