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On Monday, The View celebrated Juneteenth with a special episode featuring an interview with civil rights attorney Ben Crump and a performance by Kirk Franklin, but it was the co-hosts' emotional plea for history education that stood out as the morning's most powerful moment.
After Sara Haines, Joy Behar, and Ana Navarro admitted they only learned about Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, a few years ago, Sunny Hostin said the holiday is something she learned about at home, not in school.
"I remember years ago, even on this show, Whoopi and I were talking about it, and I said, 'My family never celebrated July 4th.' And it was met with so much shock," she recalled. "My father taught me very early on what Frederick Douglass, what I thought was a famous speech, 'What is the Fourth of July to the slave?' Because it was not freedom to Black people. Black people were still enslaved."
"What I would say is, yes, learn your history, but also be very vigilant when you're hearing about CRT, alleged CRT, in your schools," continued Hostin. "Fight that! Fight so that your children know the true history of this country, warts and all. You have to make sure that past does not become prologue because I feel that we're seeing this rollback of history, and Black history is American history. We should embrace it."
CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH: As Americans recognize #Juneteenth, a holiday that started back in 1866 to commemorate the end of slavery in America but was only made into a federal holiday a year ago, #TheView panel shares how they observe the day. https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/g6KloU36r6— The View (@TheView) June 20, 2022
"That is the key," replied Whoopi, before telling a similar story of learning about Juneteenth from her mother. "What you should never forget is that this is your history. You're an American. You're not a hyphenated American. You're an American, and you fight anyone who tells you that you don't deserve everything that every American is entitled to in this nation."
Whoopi added that "to be Black in America is challenging," as it is "to be anything other" than white. "So the key to all of this is we've got to pay attention to each other's stories," she said. "Because they all knit together and make American history."
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.