To Black Fathers and Daughters on this Juneteenth Father’s Day

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Today is Father’s Day in many places around the world. In the US we are also celebrating Juneteenth, which is now a federal holiday and in many states (including mine– MA). Here is some information about Juneteenth, from this NYT article:

Juneteenth, an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States after the Civil War, has been celebrated by African Americans since the late 1800s.

President Biden signed legislation [in 2021] that made Juneteenth, which falls on June 19, a federal holiday, after interest in the day was renewed during the summer of 2020 and the nationwide protests that followed the police killings of Black Americans including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

On June 19, 1865, … Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. [This] put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued almost 2 1/2 years earlier, on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.

Early celebrations involved prayer and family gatherings, and later included annual pilgrimages to Galveston by former enslaved people and their families, according to

Today, while some celebrations take place among families in backyards where food is an integral element, some cities, like Atlanta and Washington, hold larger events, including parades and festivals.

What better way for the blog to commemorate this double holiday than to celebrate black fathers and daughters? So, let’s look at some father-daughter teams that celebrate family strength, grace, power and speed of movement.

“The Greatest” Muhammed Ali and his daughter, boxing star and champion Laila Ali. In an interview not long after her father’s death in 2016, Laila Ali said this about him:

“Not too long ago, I said, ‘Mom, you know, do you really think daddy was really, really proud of me? Or do you think he was just trying to make me feel good, like, girl, you’re bad and all that kind of stuff?’ She’s like, ‘No. Your dad really was proud of you.’ She’s like, ‘You changed his mind about boxing and women in sports.’ And then she’s, like, ‘That was big because you know your father, he’s very hard headed.’ And I was like, ‘You’re right. I did. You’re right. I won that battle against Muhammad Ali.’”

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