Today is the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth. Celebratory barbecues and parades on deck! Besides all that, though, there’s really only one thing you absolutely must do today:
Promise to #staywoke every day from here on out.
Just two nights ago, nine Black people were murdered while attending a prayer service in their Charleston, South Carolina church by a white man intent on killing Black people. A 5-year-old witness even had to play dead just to stay alive. You heard right.
Earlier this month, 15-year-old Dajerria Becton was violently assaulted by a police officer after attending a pool party that went all the way left — even though Dajerria had nothing to do with the actual drama that went down.
This past November, a group of white high school powder puff players thought it would be fun to dress in blackface.
Last August, unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri and two-and-a-half months before that, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was murdered for just walking home in a hoodie from the store. And of course there are a ton of examples of violence against Black people throughout history.
When stuff like this keeps on happening to people who look like you — and many of them are your age — you can’t be silent. So, what can you do? Make noise. Lots of it. Flood your timelines with support, organize marches or other ways of giving back to the community with your friends and family, write about those events — or your own experiences — and publish them to your blog or submit them to us, volunteer to speak to other teen groups about racism and how they can help make a difference. Because you can make a difference. And you can’t let people forget.
We want to hear from you! Tell us your thoughts on everything in the comments below.