A Juneteenth celebration in Virginia (Courtesy of virginia.org)
**FILE** A Juneteenth celebration in Virginia (Courtesy of virginia.org)

This month, we will recognize and mourn that 100 years ago there was the destruction of Black Wall Street/Tulsa Massacre and Juneteenth.

The Greenwood District was noted for its affluent and progressive Black community. Tulsa was described as the wealthiest U. S. Black community in 1921. The town was founded by descendants of slaves and was a harbor for African Americans in segregation. The massacre 100 years ago burned the Greenwood section to the ground and reportedly up to 300 Black people were killed and 1,000 businesses and homes were burned down.

This is also the month where we commemorate Juneteenth. This is the holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved.

This is a month where we celebrate surviving horrendous actions that have been taken against Black people. This is a month where we celebrate that we are more than conquerors. We have endured much, and the best is yet to come. As we lift every voice and sing, we sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us. We sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.

At The Griffin Firm, we celebrate every individual and family with whom we work as Estate Planning attorneys. As we identify and build upon the history of the family we acknowledge the blood, sweat and tears of the ancestors and create platforms for future generations. We celebrate the victory and recognize that simply living in these United States as Black people should, many times, justify a trophy. Yet, as we have seen in the Greenwood Massacre, success is often met with greater violence and oppression.

We are indeed a remarkable people. Black people have continued to survive in spite of the redlining, in spite of mass incarceration, in spite of financial exploitation, in spite of being killed for being Black. And yet, still, we rise.

As Black people, we must advocate for equality because no one will enforce Black Lives Mattering if we don’t fight for it. Systematic racism will continue to exist as we know that power concedes nothing without a demand unless we fight for change. Fighting for equality and reparations must be a continuous steadfast effort. The system was created to maintain the status quo.

In our individual capacity, each Black person can be strategic to build the success strategy for our families and communities for a greater Black community. We must take advantage of the opportunity to propel our children and our children’s children to the next level by charting the course and providing resources for greatness. We can take advantage of the rules and laws that have provided opportunity for others and employ them for ourselves. Greenwood was an example of greatness because collectively they supported the Black excellence that was a part of the community.

Our remembrance of the atrocities, current as well as the past, should compel us to make our tomorrows even greater. We have the power to build the future celebrations for our families and our communities not about surviving but thriving!

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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