Well, here we are. There are a few things to discuss and in my head, they'll all take a bit to get through so bear with me.
First, today is June 19, also known as Juneteenth, a day of Black Independence. At some point today, someone somewhere is going to roll their eyes are Juneteenth and say something racist in the most seemingly non-racist possible. So let's discuss why this day is important and truthfully more important than July 4th.
On July 2nd, 1776 (yes, I said the second, not the fourth - keep reading), The Second Continental Congress declared independence from Great Britain. Afterwards, an official draft had to be written and on July 4th, it was. It wasn't ratified officially until August 2nd, 1776, so THAT would be the REAL Independence Day. (July 4th is either early or late, depending how you look at it)
Here's the thing though - Slavery was already on American shores and on July 1st 1776, Black people in the South were Slaves*. On July 2nd, 1776, Black people were still slaves. On July 4th, 1776, Black people were still Slaves. On July 5th, 1776, Black people were still slaves. On January 1st, 1777, Black people were still Slaves. On January 1st, 1800, Black people were still slaves. So you can see that if you were a White people (rich or not; land owning or not), on July 5th, 1776, you were no longer under the oppressive rule of Great Britain. Yet, Black people were still slaves to their Slave Owners.
*- Now, listen, I do acknowledge that there were places in the North where Black people were not slaves. But before you think that that is the "gotcha" moment in your counter-argument, remember, there were some Colonist who did not want to leave British rule and were still loyal to the King. Why do I mention that? Because when you discuss Americans being happy to be feel, you're clearly not talking about those people who wanted to still under British rule, yet no one hit you with that clapback so don't try that here. I know there were free Black people in the North and there were States without Slavery, but we're not talking about them and you know it. Have many seats. (That's a new age phrase. I think I used it right)
It wasn't until the Emancipation Proclamation (Proclamation 95) issued on January 1st 1863 that the process to free Slaves begin by changing there LEGAL STATUS! That's what had to happen. They weren't just "freed" like, "Okay, you can go now" like a kid being released from detention. They had to be DECLARED AND LEGALLY RECOGNIZED AS PEOPLE FIRST!
But back then, States and individual Slave Owners were defiant and it took nearly two and a half YEARS before the last groups of Slaves, in Texas, were told of their Free Status (two and a half years later!)
On June 19th, 1865, we are ALL free in America (I mean, as free as we were all gonna get really) and that's why this holiday is so important - but it's not enough!
There's is a lot more on the subject of "What America can do to 'fix' race relations (for real)" and maybe I'll address that at a later point, but I have more to talk about.
Yesterday was Father's Day and it was probably the most important Father's Day in years. Since the Pandemic, my father hasn't seen my children. Not anyone's fault -because of my dad's health, we had to be very careful with COVID. We had a newborn, so we had to be careful with her health too. ALSO also, my mother-in-law, who we live with has health issues and so we had to be careful with that! Nevertheless, after waiting three years, my dad finally got to meet his newest granddaughter. All four kids went over and it was a great time had by all. The boys throw a football with my dad and they ALL had a grand time with that. My older daughter is 12 so you can imagine how that went lol. Seriously though, he enjoyed seeing them all and everyone loved seeing him again.
And now, the big news and my current issue.
A few months ago, I wrote a short script called Screenshots and figured "Why not enter it into the film festival for Imaginarium" - My thought being, at the very least, I get into the habit of doing that for future scripts.
A few days ago, I found out that I, along with 16 others were finalist in the short-form screenplay category of the Imadjinn Awards. THAT'S FUCKING COOL!!!!!! I know some of the other names in the category and it's an absolute honor to be mentioned in the same breath as them because they are accomplished authors and documentarians. Which, in turn, leads to the issue: Imposter Syndrome.
Oxford defines Imposter Syndrome as: the persistent inability to believe that one's success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one's own efforts or skills. In short, regardless of the fact that I was chosen, I don't believe that I deserve to have been chosen. I wasn't going to even mention it publicly because I had convinced myself that I misunderstood what the list of finalist (clearly marked as such) meant. Then, when I got the email congratulating me that my project's status was changed to "selected" to be included, I still didn't "understand". When I finally made a post about it, I was just waiting for someone from the convention to tell me that I was wrong and that it would be best that I take my post down because I was misrepresenting or something. In a sense, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop off of bare feet.
My second real effort and my first submission and I'm a finalist - that's incredible. I just wish I could allow myself to enjoy it and celebrate this victory. I'm still learning. I still have a lot to practice in writing screenplays. I don't know if I'm worthy of this honor but, it is my honor and I've been declared worthy.
So thank you to anyone who has encouraged me, coached me, criticized me, and/or pushed me to take my writing more seriously. The Moon is a writer and this is just encouraging me to continue!
- The Moon