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The Importance of Juneteenth – Past and Present – As Told Through Spoken Word

juneteenth spoken word
J.P. Hayley performs "Please Remember," which chronicles Juneteenth's importance through spoken word. (J.P. Hayley | Flatland)
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Juneteenth is a momentous day for families throughout the U.S., a day that commemorates the liberation of slaves. Watch summer intern J.P. Haley’s spoken word performance on what Juneteenth means to him.

“Please Remember” Transcript:

Emancipation Proclamation
Lincoln said it with pride
By law we were free, every right to go strive
Many didn’t listen to ’em
They just wanted our lives until
June 19th, 1865
General Gordon Granger hit Texas with a surprise, he
Told ’em the war was over so give us freedom its time
But still despite the delight 
We still fight with the sour side
We weren’t free they just announced it
Still they kept us in binds
Still they kept us in chains
Freedom conceived was fake
Gave us the door to leave and then shot us when we escaped 
But step in the right direction so
Why don’t we know this day?
Well first of all not even acknowledged in 50 states
It’s like the war wasn’t finished
Segregation tension
Now today police done found a new way to Lynch us
Past is overlooked our books can’t even give a mention
Wasn’t on my iPhone till last year
This is our independence 
Celebration intended
Need some exposition or forever stuck in beginnings 
So here I am to remind
Please remember the time
Please remember for those in the shadows tryna hide it
Remember for those who died
Remember for all who tried
Scream it out on the streets till yo voice is raspy and dry
We gone end all the silence
Bring our day to the light 
So join me to recognize 
The day of Juneteenth, 1865

– J.P. Haley is a Kansas City PBS intern


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