Opinion: Juneteenth is a reminder to cross divides for a better future

Let us remember how far we have come as a country and not allow division to destroy our divine purpose in history.

While the nation prepares to commemorate another year of Juneteenth, America finds itself facing a critical moment with a whirlwind of issues that it must resolve and come to terms with.

Rising prices have the American people on edge and unsure what the future holds. And, amid global crises, the stage is being set to see how we as a nation can come together across party lines to stabilize and navigate to a safe place where the republic can still thrive.

America has faced many challenges throughout its history — including the national holiday we celebrate at this moment, Juneteenth. To overcome those challenges, we must find a way to come together across divides.

On this date, America’s Second Independence Day, we must remember the sacrifices and complex decisions that were made to bring an end to slavery on that warm day June 19, 1865, as the final shackles and chains were removed from the bodies of African Americans after many years of bondage.

In my prior commentaries for Juneteenth, I have written in detail of the history of how far we have come as a nation to overcome the institution of slavery and a brutal Civil War that followed. Moving toward the future, it is extremely important that we as African Americans start building on a greater foundation for the country as a whole and our children.

My heart is saddened to see the movement across so many states — including here in Utah — to pass legislation to limit diversity efforts in schools. The education and understanding of one’s history — as well as others’ — brings about a sense of honor and pride and knowledge on how to resolve problems that a community or nation faces. Juneteenth and Black America’s fight for freedom and justice is American history and should be honored by all to obtain greater understanding of the full American story.

Understanding our history is critical to healing the soul of our nation. Our local and federal leadership must do a sincere examination on whether they want the United States of America to survive.

The American people are crying out for leadership that will help navigate the country forward during these difficult and troubled times. This coming presidential election will be the determining factor on whether we will come together as one nation under God or become divided on all sides.

My prayer is that we find a way to come together across political, racial and ethnic lines to preserve this republic for the coming generations.

We must not take for granted this land that many great men and women have sacrificed themselves for.

I read that Utah ranked as the number one state in the union on so many measures from fiscal governance, healthcare, quality of life, education and much more. Utah leaders are working together to ensure its citizens have a quality of life they can be proud of. In many ways, we have become a notable example for other states, and Washington, D.C., should take notice.

In celebration of Juneteenth, let us remember how far we have come as a country and not allow division to destroy our divine purpose in history. We have experienced great challenges in the past, and I am confident that we will find the will and the courage to make America the true shining light amongst the nations of the world.

Pastor Andre' Miguel Boyd

Pastor Andre’ M. Boyd is the founder and pastor of Tuviah Christian Ministries. He and his wife, Leona (Sunshine) Boyd, are also part of the Fellowship of Prophetic Churches and Ministries based in northern Virginia. Their son Jordan serves in the United States Air Force where, as a family, they reside in Farmington, Utah.

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