Lubbock student tells residents that Juneteenth is a call to remember the past and work toward unity

(Photo courtesy of East Lubbock Community Alliance Facebook page)

Last week, Texas Housers had the distinct pleasure of hearing from several Lubbock students about why Juneteenth matters to their community during the East Lubbock Community Alliance’s Rise Up 2018 Juneteenth Celebration kickoff reception.

The Community Alliance asked students of all ages to write essays about why Juneteenth is an important holiday in Lubbock and across the country. The winner in the elementary school category was 10-year-old Marcos Cuevas.

In his essay the rising fifth grader at Harwell Elementary talked about how the holiday that commemorates the 1865 announcement when the State of Texas abolished slavery and how residents of Lubbock can learn from the past and work together toward united communities.

The young student’s wise comments resonated deeply with the audience that understands the city’s struggle overcome its historical community plans and policies that have etched segregation into the city, relegating African Americans and Latinos near industrial zones on the East and North sides of town.

“Marcos speaks very  clearly about race and equity,” Texas Housers Northwest Texas co-director Adam Pirtle said. “Young people have such a clear moral compass when it come to issues of fairness. We should follow their example.”

You can watch Marcos’ reading his essay below:

Lubbock student’s Juneteenth essay from Texas Housers on Vimeo.


And read it below:

Each time we celebrate Juneteenth in Lubbock, we are celebrating how that horrible period of time has passed. If it hadn’t we would still be going through tough times. We honor this date not just to remind ourselves of what happened in the past but to help us understand what’s in our future. I know that Juneteenth is celebrated everywhere but in Lubbock, it is special because this is our community and our focus is here. As people of Lubbock we need to come together and fight for each other so that everybody can get along and find ways to work out their differences. Juneteenth celebrations are a perfect way for the people of Lubbock to celebrate the past, the present and future. Also, this day is to remember what our ancestors sacrificed for us to have better lives than they did. What they did for us is a huge part of history and if people stop celebrating this holiday, they’ll forget that part of history. It’s also important to understand that it’s not just African Americans who celebrate this holiday, it’s all races that celebrate this wonderful day. After all, 200,000 African Americans and 25,000 Mexicans fought in the Civil War. This is why I think it is important to celebrate Juneteenth in Lubbock.

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