In an interview segment with Rev. Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota opened up about how she felt “woefully uninformed” about Juneteenth and other racial justice issues, asking King how people could learn more.
Camerota noted that Biden would soon sign a bill that would make Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., a federal holiday.
Her co-host, Victor Blackwell, noted a recent Gallup poll showing that many Americans do not know a lot about Juneteenth, including 32 percent of White Americans who said they know “nothing” about it.
King called the new holiday “an important moment of reckoning,” that helps create a “sense of inclusion” for African-Americans.
She criticized Congress for being “a bit schizophrenic,” in that they were willing to pass a law for something “ceremonial,” making Juneteenth a holiday, but not something more substantive, like the various voting rights or police reform bills being debated recently.
“Bernice, I want to ask you about that poll that Victor just read,” said Camerota. “This year has been a humbling experience for many white folks, myself included and how woefully uninformed we are about some major historical moments,” like the Tulsa race massacre and the history of Juneteenth, and asked King “how do we change that?”
“Those of us who are involved in the work of raising awareness and educating have to be continue to be consistent and persistent in doing that, and I think the holiday helps to raise the awareness because it’s a moment where there will be a concentration of energy in that regard,” King replied. However, as she had mentioned before, catching up “on the educational side” was not enough, and she advocated for continued legislative reforms in areas like “preventing voter suppression, ending police brutality, decreasing gun violence, and ending housing discrimination, and stopping health care disparities, and eradicating educational disparities, and all these things we are still not liberated from in the black community.”
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org