In this moment we look back and reflect on how far we as a nation and African Americans have come. Since leaving the shores of West Africa in 1619 it has been an enduring journey, from the creation of the 13 colonies to the evolution of the United States of America in 1776, we the Negroes have been faithful and loyal to America.
As we celebrate the first official national holiday for Juneteenth, we all must honor and give tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for the blessings of freedom in this land. The abolitionist, Union soldiers from Gettysburg to Galveston, church leaders and all those families along the Ohio River for helping to make the Underground Railroad a great success.
I think it’s appropriate to also thank former President Donald J. Trump and current President Joe Biden, along with the House and Senate, for their bipartisan efforts in making this a federal holiday so that the country can learn more about all of American history and the many contributions we as Blacks have made to help this nation to be the land of opportunity for all.
Living in this modern era, 157 years after Union soldiers made their way to east Texas to declare all slaves are now free, reminds me of my own fore parents who were slaves in North Carolina on Tobacco Road and how they must have felt knowing that freedom — a day that many told them would never come — finally made its way all throughout the South.
In my 2021 essay for The Salt Lake Tribune — “Juneteenth is America’s Second Independence Day” — I mentioned all the jubilation that the real taste of freedom after so many years of bondage gave my ancestors in the South, a feeling that this new nation America will make good on its promise for freedom, justice and equality for all an actual reality. Unfortunately, we still as a nation have a great work ahead of us achieving this goal, particularly for African Americans. The policies of benign neglect, civil rights and voting rights suppression are keeping America from its destiny of becoming a more perfect Union and a just society.
America is at a crossroads, we in Black America are directly in the middle of the greatest transition our country has faced since the Civil War. We have prayed, marched, protested, voted and even rioted and still it seems as if our voices are not being heard for enduring change.
The abandonment both political parties — Democratic and Republican leaders — has adopted must come to an end in order for this great nation to survive. With changing demographics political leaders must adopt more inclusive policies for all regardless their ethnic group to create a better America.
After 400 years of stress, anxiety and depression, we in Black America must start to evaluate our current status and position within America and ask ourselves is it time to chart a new course for our children and our future? The decline of socio-economic and political leadership has left our families and communities in great distress. Mass incarceration, crime and violence, along with great disparities in health care, housing, education and continued rising broken families, are leading us to a path of great calamity.
Being a pastor and now elder in Black America living through this and witnessing and experiencing all the hurt and pain for many years, I can truly say it’s time to chart a new course and direction for the sake of our children’s future.
The Bible says in the book of Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” One does not have to die a physical death in order to perish. A spiritual, emotional and physiological death can be even greater trauma for an individual.
In my coming book “Prepare for Departure: American Negroes 2042″ I will outline and give great detail on the reasons why we in Black America must include Africa on a path forward for our future. The African Union and Agenda 2063 must be a vision that we are a part of at all cost.
Though we’ve made great progress in America in a short period of time since the 1960s, it appears the work we have done since the Civil Rights Movement has run its course. There is a silent and growing momentum in Black America for self-determination, many of us have realized that it’s going to take all of us as a collective to solve our problems for the future.
Reconnecting with Africa will prove to be transformational. We need a space to heal and become transformed as a people. Race riots, racism and racial conflicts must come to an end. With Black America having the opportunity to reconnect and re-establish ourselves on the African continent this will forge a promising relationship for America and Africa.
In honor of the first recognized national holiday of Juneteenth, let us convene in Philadelphia to draft what I will call the “African American Restoration and Revitalization Act of 2024-2026,” to be presented to Congress and to be signed on June 19, 2025. This is prayerfully a goal that America will respond to. The first project will need to be the development of the new airport DTK International (Douglass, Tubman and King International Airport) off the coast of Africa. Reconciliation must be the goal in helping America become a more perfect Union. Thomas Jefferson and the Founders will be proud.
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 Clearfield, Utah.