Juneteenth forgotten

Texas history has long forgotten Juneteenth (Emancipation Day or Freedom Day).

On June 19, 1865, Union Gen. Gordon Granger, standing on the balcony of a Galveston hotel, proclaimed that the Civil War was over, and all the approximately 250,000 slaves in Texas and throughout the South were now free.

Former slaves were given their freedom, and now were to be paid wages as hired laborers from their employers, their former slave masters, or they could seek employment in the north.

More than 1,000 slaves in the Galveston-Houston area immediately celebrated their freedom with dancing and singing. Many of the former slaves took some of the finest clothes from their former slave masters and drank their red wine to rejoice in their newfound freedom, which is probably why blacks continue to celebrate this special day with red strawberry soda and in their best clothes.

On the anniversary of Juneteenth, many blacks in the south would plan family reunions and have cookouts with traditional southern dishes. Baseball games were organized, rodeos were planned and beauty contests were conducted. Public readings and singing of traditional songs were performed in public parks.

So to all my black friends and especially my next door neighbor, happy Jujneteenth.

Jack Ayoub, Harlingen


Equalize education

The main purpose of the Every Students Succeeds Act is to make sure all public schools in our country are providing students with quality education. It is vital to bring awareness to the public eye about this issue.

Minority groups of students are facing barriers no student should face in our school system. Students are not receiving quality education. Furthermore, concerns are rising within the ESSA because schools with the highest needs continue to have educators with minimum training.

Students’ inadequate education is reflected in their test scores and this should not be a problem in our country.

Procurement of quality education is fundamental for sustainable growth. Studies show African-American and Hispanic students are scoring below 511 out of 800 on the math portion of the SAT. Both African-American and Hispanic students fall behind white and Asian students who have scored higher on their SATs.

All students including minority groups must have access to the same educational opportunities. In order to do so we must end unequal education in all schools across the United States.

The following recommendations can help end inequality in our school system: Providing all schools across the country with the same amount of resources will help improve education for all students.

Another possible solution would be to focus on all at-risk school districts and monitor students’ academic progress to guarantee students are performing well. Students who are struggling must be able to receive additional support when needed.

Lastly, all states in the United States must request students’ progress reports to confirm resources are being implemented to all students’ education.

These suggestions may help increase academic progress and achievements, as well as increase high school graduation rates.

Stephanie Hernandez, Weslaco


Pay attention on local roads

Editor: Attention deficit is rank among Deep South Texas drivers when it comes to cyclists, pedestrians and even other vehicles. Those rapid left turns into oncoming cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles, and same for right turns cutting off those innocents are potential killers.

Ah! The AC is on, the text is going and coming, same for cell calls and loud music.

How about vehicle doors opening into traffic, or vehicles simply pulling out — minus looking — in both cases.

This was going to be a very angry letter; instead it is a disappointed reminder.

And yes, cyclists, pedestrians and vehicle drivers must also pay attention, but they are not the major perpetrators of anti-social motion.

I used to scream vile curse words from my pedals or feet at these drivers, and also send obscene hand and finger signals; now, I softly gesture and point at my head: Think!

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, Brownsville

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