Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer
Summertime! In 1934, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward composed “Summertime” for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess; the song became a very popular jazz standard. Nat King Cole recorded, “Those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer,” in 1963 and it reached No.6 on the pop chart. Sly and the Family Stone sang about “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” the Lovin Spoonful did “Summer in the City, Kool and the Gang performed “Summer Madness,” and Seals and Crofts sang “Summer Breeze,” as did the Isley Brothers. So many songs and compositions about summer, from back in the day.
Summer became official in the northern hemisphere on Sunday, June 20th
at 11:32 p.m., the time of the summer solstice. Temperatures already have been extreme in our area, and our Health Department and Emergency Services team will issue notices throughout the summer advising us how to be cautious in the heat, how to be safe in case of severe weather, and more.
And as we do every summer, my colleagues and I on the Board of County Commissioners are taking a break from our regular night business meetings and work sessions. We approved the Fiscal Year 2021-22 Operating Budget and the Capital Investment Plan, on June 15, addressed several other matters, and adjourned until September, (barring any special meetings). That said, we are here for you, to hear and look into matters of concern to you, our valued constituents.
Juneteenth is a day of Jubilation, a day for family and friends to come together for food and fun and festivity to celebrate the liberation of our African American foremothers and forefathers from bondage. Our African and African American ancestors, embodying a spirit of freedom, eventually broke the chains and shackles of the American slave system, and in 1865, by Executive Order No. 3, all formerly enslaved people were free.
Last year, the Board of Commissioners voted to make Juneteenth a countywide, paid holiday. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, calling it “A Day of Profound Weight and Power.”
As we observe this joyous occasion, we must also celebrate the beautiful lives of our mothers, fathers, uncles and aunts who died while enslaved, who died while fighting for freedom, and who died while exercising their right to freedom.
From 1619 to today, many souls have been sacrificed, dying violent deaths because of racism—i.e., Eliza Woods, Manly McCauley, James Cates, Breonna Taylor, to name a few. We must honor and remember the lives of our fallen sisters and brothers, and say their names. They are a part of our legacy, and we must never forget.
This past weekend, we rejoiced in Juneteenth with people of all cultural backgrounds. Today and tomorrow, we must persist in our fight for our full measure of freedom. Thank you for seeking to know our African American heritage, for uplifting Juneteenth and assuring that our traditions and our history live on, in truth.