There were 11 annual federal holidays until this week — the previous addition was Martin Luther King Day added in 1983. I went back to get a better understanding of all this after President Biden signed the Congressional legislation to add Juneteenth as the 12th annual Federal holiday a few days ago.

Last year mid pandemic, I was mortified to learn of both Juneteenth and the Tulsa Race Massacre after the murder of George Floyd and innumerable black lives brought these histories in focus — stories that weren’t taught in my school.

If I was closer to civilization today, I would have liked to join a Juneteenth celebration. In lieu of that, I’m happy that this day of emancipation is now a part of our national lexicon. I’ve much to learn about racial disparity, the stories, the truth, and more importantly — the actions we can take to acknowledge and eliminate racism in all forms.