Sunday, January 29, 2023

Do You Know Why You Should Celebrate February 1st As National Freedom Day?

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Passionate Advocate From Diverse American Family Helps Revive National Freedom Day Within Divisive US Political Climate
The Beautiful Garner/Chappelear/Lawson/Deane/Benitez Family Has A Rich Freedom Legacy

By Kamau Austin

A national advocate for equality and inclusion Venita Benitez, an Afro-Latino woman, is working passionately to help revive a day of liberation, healing, and American harmony: National Freedom Day.  National Freedom Day, was proclaimed to be celebrated annually February, 1, eventually jumpstarting Black History Month.

Moreover, National Freedom Day, also commemorates President Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and subsequent passing in Congress of the 13th Amendment.  The National Freedom Day proclamation by Harry S. Truman states the following "National Freedom Day is a United States observance on February 1 honoring the signing by President Abraham Lincoln of a joint House and Senate resolution that later was ratified as the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

President Lincoln signed the Amendment abolishing slavery on February 1, 1865, although it was not ratified by the states until later."  February 1st, was later to become Black History Day, then eventually, driven by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson - Black History Month.

Venita Benitez, an equality advocate and diversity professional with Afro-Latino roots, that also ironically derives from the British Monarchy, is looking to continue to help bring awareness to National Freedom Day.  Benitez is looking to bring the little known, but official national holiday proclamation of National Freedom Day, by President Harry S. Truman, into the mainstream.

This will be a challenging goal given the divisive present political climate in the US, and actually the world.  Our country beyond just the present ongoing culture wars confrontations, we also have movements that are threatening democracy itself in our country.

But Venita is passionately up for the challenge following the movement in the footsteps of the founder of National Freedom Day, former slave, educator, college President, entrepreneur, banker, and army veteran Major Richard R. Wright Sr. (no known relation to author/writer Richard Wright).   Major Wright was extremely accomplished.

According to the Pennsylvania: Life and Times of Major Richard Robert Wright Sr. and the National Freedom Day Association, "Richard Robert Wright Sr. (May 16, 1855 – July 2, 1947) was an American military officer, educator and college president, politician, civil rights advocate and banking entrepreneur. Among his many accomplishments, he founded a high school, a college, and a bank. He also founded the National Freedom Day Association in 1941.

Ms. Benitez shared "One year after Wright's death in 1947, U.S. Congress passed by a joint resolution approved on June 30, 1948 a bill to recognize National Freedom Day. The proclamation was signed into law on January 25, 1949, by President Harry Truman." 

The Original Founder Of National Freedom Day Movement, Major Richard Robert Wright Sr.