Juneteenth to July 4th
An opportunity to reflect on Freedom and Racial Injustice
Between Juneteenth and Independence Day, the Hopkinton Freedom Team and members of our community provided an array of programming, including daily educational content and calls to action to encourage community members to reflect on Freedom and Justice.
T - The Constitution
“The U.S. Constitution”, at its very inception, promoted the institution of slavery and allowed slavery to expand dramatically in the first eighty plus years of our nation. Click here to learn more
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail
The Juneteenth/ Independence Day Programming is an effort to inspire meaningful and engaging dialogue on our nation’s complicated past and present experience with racial injustice. The racial injustice imposed on one group is integrally tied to the racial injustice imposed on another. To that end, the organizers would like to acknowledge the original residents of Hopkinton - the Nipmuc People - with this Land Acknowledgement;
We, as people who live, work, and engage in Hopkinton, acknowledge that the Nipmuc people were the original residents and stewards of this land which became the town of Hopkinton in 1715.
We know that the Indigenous people of this land and this continent were killed in genocides, enslaved, relocated and betrayed.
As a community, we will strive to remember, honor and stand together with the Nipmuc people and all Indigenous people of the United States– past and present – who continue to work for justice, recognition and self-determination as the First People of this land.
Raising the juneteenth flag at town hall
On June 17, 2021, for the first time, the Town of Hopkinton raised a flag to recognize Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The Juneteenth Flag will hang from June 17 until July 4th in front of town hall and below the American Flag.
The Symbolism of the Juneteenth Flag, Explained
This year, for the first time, the Town of Hopkinton will raise a flag to recognize Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The Juneteenth Flag will hang from June 17 until July 4th in front of town hall and below the American Flag.
The Juneteenth flag raising kicks off multi-week programming sponsored by the Hopkinton Freedom Team and many other members of our community. Stay tuned for an array of programming from Juneteenth (June 19) through Independence Day (July 4) that includes daily educational content and calls to action to encourage community members to reflect on Freedom and Justice in the United States.
To that end, here is a quick primer on the symbols of the Juneteenth Flag.
By design the flag shares the same color scheme as the American Flag to serve as a critical reminder that enslaved people and their descendants were and are Americans.
The "June 19, 1865" commemorates the exact day that Union Army General Gordon Grainger formally announced in Galveston, Texas to the approximately 250,000 enslaved people of Texas that the Civil War had ended and that they were freed by the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862 - well over two and a half years earlier.
The star represents "the Lone Star” State of Texas where the last remaining enslaved people were finally told that they had been freed under the Emancipation Proclamation. The star imagery goes beyond Texas and represents the freedom of African Americans in all 50 states.
A cloud burst or “nova” encircles the star. This symbol represents a new, hopeful beginning for the African Americans of Galveston and throughout the nation.
The arc that divides the flag laterally is another symbol of hope. The curve that extends across the width of the flag represents a new horizon and reveals the opportunities and promise that lay ahead for Black Americans.
Hopkinton Lights Up As One
In collaboration with SACH (South Asian Circle of Hopkinton), a sign of unity that reads 'Hopkinton Lights Up As One' was lit up using different colors at the Town Common as an artifact to encourage Calls to Actions for each of the letters of the 'HOPKINTON' acrostic throughout the sixteen days until the 4th of July National Independence Day.
Thank you to the Select Board for approving this year’s Flag Raising. Special Thanks to Elaine Lazarus and Matt Reed for taking care of the logistics for this ceremony and to Hopkinton Youth and Family Services for purchasing the Flag.