19:50 GMT06 August 2020
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    US President Donald Trump declared during a Wall Street Journal interview earlier this week that he “made Juneteenth very famous.” Eugene Puryear, an author, activist and host of the new program BreakThrough News, detailed to Sputnik just how out of touch the US president is from American history.

    “I did something good. I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it,” Trump said, talking to the WSJ about moving his upcoming campaign rally from June 19 to June 20 - after being asked to do so by leaders in the Black community.

    Puryear told Loud and Clear hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou on Friday that while Trump is certainly ignorant and off-base for claiming “nobody had ever heard of” Juneteenth until he mentioned it, the holiday “has certainly gained more attention outside of the Black community” during the current social and political climate of the US. 

    He explained that there is a rich history to Juneteenth within American history, and although most celebrations have been historically ignored by non-Black Americans, Solidarity Day in 1968 is a more modern example of a point at which the country’s current issues intersected with the June 19 holiday. 

    Solidarity Day occurred amid the ongoing Civil Rights Movement and a little over two months following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

    Puryear noted that the Washington, DC, demonstration also came about during the Poor People's March on Washington - a movement organized by King, with the goal of economic justice in the US, that unfortunately held its historic rally just weeks after King’s April 1968 assassination.

    Instead, Dr. King’s wife and fellow activist, Coretta Scott King, delivered a moving speech that called upon US women to unite against the three great evils in America, racism, poverty and war, at the “Resurrection City” of tents erected in the nation’s capital. 

    King, who also had a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, can also be heard in a recording of her address delivering her operatic rendition of the hymn “Come By Here, My Lord. Come By Here” - derived from the Black spiritual “Kumbaya.” 

    It’s now known that she was under surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1968 to 1972. 

    “This modern history of Juneteenth as a national holiday really is directly related to the Poor People’s Campaign and the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Puryear stated. 

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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