Juneteenth is the first new national holiday in nearly 40 years. It is the celebration of the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States on June 19, 1865.
“I look at it as a time for reflection, appreciation and recommitment,” shares Marc Galloway, MD, Medical Director of the Cincinnati Bengals and Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon at Mercy Health – Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Center. “While it was created to celebrate emancipation, I believe that in 2021 it is more a time to reflect upon the challenges that were faced by our enslaved ancestors both before and after emancipation. It is also a time to reflect on the systemic and institutionalized oppression that our relatives endured after reconstruction and the subsequent Jim Crowe policies that officially existed in our country until the 1960’s.”
He adds, “many of these have unofficially persisted to the present and are apparent in many of the legislative and judicial agendas that have recently been in the news. It is a time to celebrate the resiliency and accomplishments that African Americans have made in the face of these challenges as well as to acknowledge and appreciate the progress that the country has made towards becoming a more inclusive society.”
At Mercy Health, we honor the legacy Juneteenth has a day that holds meaning for all Americans. For our ministry, it is a chance to celebrate the freedom and abilities every American, regardless of race or ethnicity, should have.
“In a broader sense, it is important to remember that the struggle continues for many underserved and underrepresented people in our country, not only African Americans, whose interests are marginalized,” Dr. Galloway continues. “It is a reminder to remain diligent to current and future challenges that would undermine these advances and to renew our shared commitment to building a society in which all people have fair and equal access to the American dream.”
Learn more about our mission and how it inspires the work we do at Mercy Health.