As the United States just marked the 100th year since the 1921 Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, another great date of significance is just around the corner.
The independence of African slaves brought to America happened June 19, 1865. This date is commemorated annually as a day of independence of Black people. We earned freedom that should not have to have been earned. These men and women endured hundreds of years of torture, pain, violence, rape, beatings, castration, and more – at the hands of their so-called masters.
Black people became free in 1865, but although they were generators of great wealth for white landowners, they were not given a portion of the wealth they created. Although they were free, they were just turned out into America, with no way of making a living except to continue offering their services as field hands or laborers.
The story of the Black African in America is unique from that of any other race of people. They did not come to this land for a better opportunity. They were enslaved by their own people in Africa, in some instances, and sold to white pirates. They were captured in their homelands, according to many years of stories passed down, and brought to a new land to live out their days under the rule of an illegitimate land occupier who stole the land from Native people.
So many in America want Black people to forget and move on when it comes to slavery, racism, broken promises, and pain, because they feel these things happened too far in the past to worry about now. Anyone can browse the comment sections of Facebook when anything about Juneteenth, slavery, the 1921 Race Massacre, or other topics about Black people's pain is posted by news media outlets; they will see the soul of racist America. Luckily, the racists in America are a small percentage, but it will take the white majority to aggressively stamp out racism by the majority. Humans created racism, and it will take humans to limit racism.
As we embark on another year of independence, the goal is still the same: fight for equality, take care of our communities, educate our people, elevate our people, and continue to find our way in a land called America. Seeing the celebrations across America by Black people as they celebrate their independence from mob rule should give other Americans a moment to celebrate as well, because we are all Americans. Black people have a lot to accomplish still, to achieve what our ancestors wanted us to accomplish.
I have seen a renewed push for achieving success in the Black community over the past few years, and I am proud to see all the people who are striving to achieve whatever success looks like to them. There is a more focused effort to come together and support one another's businesses and community efforts. The pride of our people has always been there, and we are seeing the fruits of our labors witnessed.
With every footstep across the graduation stage, with every business loan approved, with every crowdfunding campaign that is successful, with couples who decide to come together to raise their child, with every march for equality, Black people take a step closer to realizing our dreams. Join the Black community that has given so much to America as they celebrate their independence.
Corey Carolina is an NSU graduate, North Tulsa entrepreneur and activist, and owner of Carolina Food Co., which produces Toasted Wine Fruit Spreads. He is also an author, his first book being "The Absent Father."