We commemorate this Fourth of July in the shadow of assaults on our human rights and bodily autonomy from those who do not uphold the values of democracy. We recognize that these efforts to strip away our rights are a backlash to positive social justice movements. Let us commit together to the movement for justice and democracy.
As real people with real experiences who have shaped and will continue to shape U.S. culture and society, Black LGBTQ people are not political wedge issues. The insidious combination of racism and queerphobia can seriously affect the mental health of our LGBTQ youth of color, especially amid the political attacks on human rights through efforts to control bodily autonomy including reproductive rights and identity. Beyond celebrations of Pride Month and Juneteenth, we must all work to provide space for Black LGBTQ people.
The systemic devaluation of Black people that originated during slavery continues today in punitive practices that disproportionately push Black children and other children of color out of schools and into the criminal legal system. To ensure equitable education for all youth, educators and communities must play a role in decarceration, which begins with school discipline reform.
Despite attempts to quickly commercialize the recognition of Juneteenth as a national holiday in the United States, this celebration highlights the importance of honest history and the relevance of the past in the struggles of the present. These LFJ resources can help unpack the complex history of this observance that originated in Texas—including the need for intervention from the federal government and efforts toward obscuring what actually took place.
We are celebrating Pride 2022 in the shadow of hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills, anti-CRT legislation (prohibiting teaching about racism) and assaults on reproductive rights aimed at silencing and disenfranchising people—all coordinated efforts in a backlash against gains in social justice and equity. As we celebrate a legacy of courage, resilience and strength, let us commit to building coalitions of justice, to being allies to one another. We know from experience that freedom and justice require ongoing resistance, activism and solidarity.