Dear Horizon Family,
Thank you for taking the time to read this message. If you’ve been on social media or been keeping up with the news, it’s likely you’ve heard the phrase “Juneteenth” quite a lot lately. We understand that many people are not familiar with this holiday and hope to provide you with some context.
On July 4th, 1776, America declared itself free from British tyranny and announced its independence. For hundreds of years, we have celebrated it as the birth of American freedom, but who was freed? Not women who were still not allowed to vote, lead, or be paid equally. Not people of color who were not even treated as people.
On January 1st, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation declared every person formerly held as slaves to be free. This is the date given to us in schools and history books as the date slavery was abolished, but it was not the date given to the slaves who were not even told of this new law and remained enslaved.
June 19th, 1865, is the date we celebrate as the catalyst for true American freedom because it was the date General Gordon Granger traveled to Texas and issued a public order to the people that all slaves were to live their lives as free people. From there, word spread across the country, and the next year marked the first “Juneteenth” celebration.
Today, it is celebrated worldwide. It is important to remember that while this holiday reminds us of a dark point in American history; it is not a day of shame, but celebration. Juneteenth serves as a reminder that we as American people have the power to build on the shadows of our past. By educating ourselves, we gain to ability to evolve and grow as both a nation and as individuals.
Whatever your political or cultural beliefs, there is no doubt that we are living in complicated and tumultuous times. We at Horizon believe that combating this turmoil starts with arming our minds. To that end, we are both individually and collectively doing the work by reading literature, keeping ourselves informed, and keeping an open dialogue between ourselves and you.
We hope that you will do the same. This Juneteenth, Friday, June 19th, 2020, there are many opportunities for you to learn more about our nation’s history and current issues, and we have included some different events and resources below to help you do so.
BLM and Anti-Racist Resources
Where to Learn and Unlearn
- Becoming Trustworthy White Allies
- Racial Equality Tools (including Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies)
- 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- The 1619 Project and (Related Curriculum for Educators)
- New Era of Public Safety
- 26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets
- Education Resources around Systemic Racism
- Further Reading from Black Lives Matters
- 7 Anti-Racist Book Recommendations from New York Magazine
Where to Learn as a Family
- Resources for Talking about Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids
- Embrace Race
- Order Children’s Books geared towards Anti-Racism from a BIPOC-owned Bookstore
- Talking about Race from National Museum of African American History & Culture
- Teaching about Race, Racism and Police Violence
- Black Lives Matter Kid’s Booklist
Where to Donate & Lend Your Support
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Black Visions Collective
- Campaign Zero
- Black Lives Matter
- Million Artist Movement
- Color of Change
- Community Justice Exchange, Directory of Bail Funds by State
- National Bail Out Fund — Free Black Mamas
Where to Contribute to Victim Memorial Funds
- Official George Floyd Memorial Fund By His Brother, Philonise Floyd
- I Run with Maud — Justice for Amaud Arbery Fundraiser
- Justice for Breonna Taylor Petition and Fundraiser
- Justice for Tony McDade Petition
May 31, 2020
The names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and Ahmaud Arbery have been added to a steadily growing list of brutal police murders. These are members of our community and they are under attack.
What is happening now is no less than a systemic violent assault against the black community, based on a history of institutionalized racism and discriminatory tendencies built into the fabric of our political systems. Enough is enough.
For the past 36 years, we at Horizon Theatre Company have made it our mission to explore and reveal the honest stories of our times, no matter how uncomfortable or controversial. To see what is happening now breaks our hearts. However, we have never run from honest dialogue before and we will not now. We urge our community to stand with the black lives who are being threatened and do what we can to protect them.
For everyone struggling under the grief of losing another person of color to unnecessary police brutality.
For everyone feeling helpless against the wave of senseless violence that is sweeping through our nation.
For everyone fighting for a fair chance at surviving in a society that that does recognize the pain and of its black members.
We hear you. We believe in you. And we will stand with you.
If you would like to help, please do not repost videos of the direct violence out of consideration for black people in our community. Many have spoken publicly about the re-traumatizing effect these videos have on black people. Instead, please share the resources and support below:
Donate to Black Lives Matter: You can find the main donation page here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
Get involved with your local BLM chapter: https://blacklivesmatter.com/chapters
Donate to one of the bail funds listed in this Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1X4-YS3vFn5CLL9QtJSU0xqmTh_h8XilXgOqGAjZISBI/preview?fbclid=IwAR2trHe9Uh9WA6R1l_KagmyNVnpG0m157YKe9gwWFesRwOoHUlr6GKhlFxQ&pru=AAABcopMPQU*K_puEnU-cBUGKdR1iGi4tA
—HORIZON THEATRE COMPANY