On Saturday, Usher performed at the Essence Festival in New Orleans, but it was what he was wearing that garnered much attention. Usher, who headlined that night’s show, recognized Juneteeth as his Independence Day when he rocked a T-shirt with “July Fourth” crossed out and “Juneteenth” written underneath.
Over the T-shirt, Usher made another political statement with his leather jacket. The back of the jacket read, “Have we truly achieved our independence?”
Oftentimes, depending on whom you ask, that answer is no.
Although many people celebrate Independence Day on July 4, Juneteenth is celebrated by many people in recognition of June 19, 1865, the day the last remaining slaves in America were freed. The holiday is observed in 43 states, including Texas, where the slaves were the last to find out about the freedom granted to them.
As people gathered at the Essence Festival, Usher not only made a bold statement but hopefully provided a history lesson for those who may have gone home and Googled the meaning behind Juneteenth.