Juneteenth — Tracing our racist roots for root solutions
In Suriname, we call this holiday Keti Koti. Cutting of the chains.
It has been celebrated since the abolition of slavery on July 1, 1863, but has been a national holiday since 1960.
I think it’s important to imagine what life could have been like for you and others if this day had been a national US holiday for 60 years. What would it mean to be surrounded by statues, symbols and monuments that celebrate this big day of freedom — instead of still arguing over confederate symbols, flags, names of leaders, and statues that need to be removed from public and prominent spaces.
Kwakoe — statue of freed slave in honor of Keti Koti
These two countries share similar deplorable histories as slave plantations but the divergent paths that led to the stark differences between these two countries now were already visible 300 years ago.
More on: Raising the anti-racism bar
Why healing requires going back to our racialized and racist roots . . .
As I retrace mine, I make a pitstop at age 27 in 1996. I revisit my headspace as a bushy-tailed 3rd year grad school in clinical psychology, specializing in multicultural psychology.
I‘d just written a scathing paper, “The Psychological Lynching of Multiracial People in the US” and sent it to Maria Root, PhD, leading researcher, writer, and national expert on the topic.
It impressed her enough to agree to join my dissertation committee. My cross-national dissertation — researching historical race relations and the multiracial experiences between mixed people in the US and Suriname — was quickly taking shape.
I’d decided that returning to my roots for strength and grounding was the only way I’d regain my mental health and soul authority.
I’d explored all other options, and nothing was working.
As a highly sensitive person of multiracial, multicultural and multiethnic descent, I’d mastered swimming in and out of cultural streams and fish bowls throughout my…