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When I Learned About Juneteenth

I never heard or read that Texas slaves
were captive still, by masters so depraved,

till June nineteenth of eighteen sixty-five,
when news of freedom reached those still alive.

No passage of my school books ever claimed
there even was a day with such a name.

At forty-five, I had the chance to learn,
amid the news of riots, tear gas burns

of Black Lives Matter, president’s loud shouts,
of Juneteeth’s name and what it’s all about.

That made me ask what else about our past
does not get taught in schools, but should at last?

Who else’s triumphs over any hate
should all kids learn about and celebrate?

Copyright © Jennifer Fenn | Year Posted 2022


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Date: 3/13/2023 11:27:00 AM

Jennifer- I love your work. Clever and wry. I remember where i was standing when first explained about Juneteenth, by boss, a retiring native Texan. My jaw on the floor. One don't know what they don't teach. Best - Ken
Date: 12/19/2022 7:25:00 PM

I don’t subscribe to hiding away dirty little secrets. It’s easy for those who have benefited to want to ignore the truth. People are still effected to this day.
Date: 7/21/2022 10:30:00 AM

I had not heard of it until a few years back when a Soup poet sponsored a contest for us to write about Juneteenth. There are so many things that cannot even be mentioned in history books because all the hate crimes done to many groups of people would fill hundreds of volumes of books! (I really like your poem)
Date: 7/17/2022 1:11:00 AM

Alas slaves still exist, not as before, but sometimes worse. Clever poem.
Date: 7/14/2022 8:58:00 PM

Thank you for this powerfully crafted poem. As a white male, I keep learning more I never knew by leafing through the hidden pages of our history. Sadly, there are those who want to conceal this truth from our children, calling it Critical Race Theory (which it is not). This is a superbly penned poem. Please keep writing. We need to hear your voice!
Date: 7/3/2022 3:56:00 PM

Jennifer the truth always is learned no matter how hard they try to hide it or cover it up. There is so much evil in this world and so much evil was committed on Gods people. Your Poetry is an enlightenment on everyone to know the truth of these victimized Godly people. Thank you for sharing and may God make everything right in this world for those that are and were oppressed...
Date: 6/28/2022 8:45:00 AM

You speak truth from a deep voice repre- Senting your whole famILY. In my reading, I found the use of the couplet made your statements more stark. Why DOES iit take so long for truth to rise?! Blessings on your purpose and path… xox
Date: 6/27/2022 11:46:00 AM

I am always fascinated with the story behind the famous hymn Amazing Grace. So true many don't care that once so called Christians used black people as slaves.
Date: 6/23/2022 10:18:00 PM

Good poem Jennifer, highlights the fact that history is written by the conquerors, so much becomes clear when one is willing to listen to the voiceless, jim
Date: 6/22/2022 4:01:00 PM

aptly put lines and the depth of your lack of the knowledge, one does not always have the history of much but i knew of it long ago and the fact before the federal government made it a holiday, it had been so for more than 40 years in Texas. there is much not in the books but it is out there, the Tulsa Riots, for example, i have known since a boy
Date: 6/21/2022 6:46:00 AM

The whole poem, beggars the questions, Jennifer, so much of history swept under the carpet these days. Good Poem, the awareness is the start to the action.
Date: 6/20/2022 8:19:00 PM

Well. They didn't teach us about Japanese internment camps in WW2. Nor do they trumpet the LSD experiments they did on Army privates in the 1960's. Oh, there's just so much that isn't covered. Then again other countries are much, much worse! We should direct our fire at Russia, at China, at Saudi Arabia, at Sudan, at Libya... The last two mentioned still operate flourishing slave trades, for example: Muslims enslaving Christians. I've truly had enough of America's guilt-trip. We at least try to get better! They don't!!!!!
Date: 6/20/2022 3:54:00 PM

It is not surprising that they seem to hide many evidenced happenings, it happened back then, still happens today, glad that it all came to the surface through awareness, as it should be, this is an important poem, glad you penned it, thank you Jennifer. Much love, Vie
Date: 6/20/2022 5:34:00 AM

Powerful write Jennifer, so much of history is left out out of school books, best wishes
Date: 6/19/2022 6:55:00 PM

Jennifer, your feelings are exactly how I've been feeling lately, and I think this poem says it perfectly. Your feedback on my poetry, "CRUISE TO ALASKA," is greatly appreciated. I'm glad you enjoy it and rest assured that I'll be writing more.
Date: 6/19/2022 5:05:00 PM

People don't wish to talk about blemish on the past--but it is what happened and indeed everyone should know about it. I share your sentiments so well expressed in this poem, Jennifer.