It's the second anniversary of Juneteenth being a federal holiday, and the LMA offices are closed in recognition of the Black community's long, bloody struggle for emancipation. As we strive to apply principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in our work, we're also listening to and learning from our Word In Black publishers about what exactly celebrating Juneteenth should entail. 

This week, we offer the perspective of Sonny Messiah Jiles, the CEO of the Houston Defender Network and member of the LMA board of directors. She's all for a celebratory backyard barbecue, but Sonny says Juneteenth is also a prime opportunity to hold public officials and powerful corporations accountable for righting the grievous injustices affecting the Black community. We're also giving you a throwback to the 2021 insight of Texas native Patrick Washington, the publisher of the Dallas Weekly. As he notes, "Juneteenth is about us. It’s about us recognizing our inherent liberty and freedom."

Essentially, Juneteenth is unapologetically Black, and it's an opportunity to ask, do I support journalism that amplifies Black voices? And if I don't, how can I get it right? 

Publishers like Sonny and Patrick are part of the long legacy of the Black press telling the truth about the Black community and giving folk hope for achieving justice, liberty, and freedom — despite living in a time when racism is still a daily reality. Listen to our recent Twitter Space conversation with our publishers about the influence and legacy of the Black press. It's sure to help you understand why we champion sustainability for Black publications — and why we're following their lead and learning from their insight about celebrating Juneteenth. 
— Liz Dwyer, Managing Director, Word In Black
Sonny Messiah Jiles, CEO of the Houston Defender, writes that Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom, Black history, and Black culture. But what if we redefined it as a time to recalibrate or change the way we think about it?
Patrick Washington, CEO and co-publisher of Dallas Weekly, shares raw and enticing perspective on what it means to be Texan and Black on Juneteenth in this op-ed from 2021.
With their tasteless, panned corporate Juneteenth paraphernalia, companies like Walmart have commodified a uniquely Black holiday for their own profit, rather than recognize the sincerity of the event that ushered in freedom for enslaved Americans.
Soap operas come with unresolved issues, but when 2020 pushed Juneteenth to the forefront of American culture, finally, America had to deal with it. Longtime public educator David Carr asks: Why did it take so long for America to embrace this part of history? The answer is as odd and complex as America itself.
The Black press discovers and shares solutions to issues facing the Black community. Some say that the Black press is biased, but in actuality, we are unwilling to minimize the harsh impact of racism and inequality on our people.