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The Spirit of Juneteenth Lives Daily

Image of Lindsey Barnes and Children

As a proud Houstonian and descendant of African American slaves, Juneteenth holds deep personal significance for me. Just an hour from my hometown is Galveston, Texas, where on June 19, 1865, the last enslaved African Americans in the U.S. were declared free. This day marks a pivotal moment in our nation’s history—a moment that signified the delayed arrival of freedom for millions.

Although Galveston is close to Houston, the journey toward freedom was long and arduous. The Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863, declared all slaves in Confederate states free, yet it took over two and a half years for this news to reach Texas. Even after the Civil War ended, it wasn't until Union General Gordon Granger's arrival in Galveston that freedom was enforced for those unjustly held in bondage. This milestone came despite resistance from those clinging to an unjust system, underscoring the challenges and persistent efforts required to overcome oppression.

Juneteenth reminds us that the journey toward freedom is ongoing, and it is our collective duty to uphold this legacy. Remembering the significance of historical moments to our nation, such as Juneteenth, is one of the motivations behind me having founded two Wildflower Schools, where those schools are now the most diverse child-led programs in our city. At Wildflower Schools, we see child-led education as a powerful tool for liberation. Through this approach, students cultivate a profound understanding of their capabilities and potential, fostering a deep sense of self-worth and confidence. As they navigate their educational journey, guided by their own curiosities and interests, they not only discover the power of their being but also learn the importance of compassion and empathy towards others.

At Wildflower, we are committed to the liberation of every human being, every community, and the human spirit, so that we may all live in harmony with our individual purpose and the world around us, free from oppression and able to follow life’s unfolding journey. By creating diverse learning environments that celebrate each child's unique journey, we guide them toward their fullest potential, fostering a more just and compassionate world.

As we honor Juneteenth, we acknowledge the ongoing work needed to achieve justice and liberation. We invite you to join us at Wildflower Schools, where we continue to nurture environments where every child can grow and thrive. Together, we can create a future where every child is empowered to achieve their dreams and live a life of liberty.

Ways to contribute to this day include but are not limited to giving to the upcoming National Juneteenth Museum in Texas, reading books for kids like The Juneteenth Story by my friend and classmate Alliah Agostini, and attending a local event near you.

We also welcome you to get involved with Wildflower Schools here.

Lindsey Barnes

Partner and Teacher Leader, Wildflower Schools


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