Matter of Fact Newsletter

Titus Regional Medical Center in rural Texas is the only ICU facility available for dozens of miles in every direction.

It’s Official. Juneteenth is now a Federal Holiday. 

Raise a glass. History was made in Washington this week. Thursday, President Biden signed a bill establishing June 19th as Juneteenth National Independence Day. It’s meant to commemorate the end of slavery, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally arrived in Texas, more than two years after it was issued from President Lincoln’s desk. 

In the VIEWFINDER: The Emancipation Trail

Get ready for a road trip. A proposal is making its way through the Texas legislature to create an Emancipation Heritage Trail. The 51-mile trail traces the journey freedmen made when they traveled from Galveston to Houston. In this week’s VIEWFINDER, we’ll take you to some of the historical landmarks along the way. 

Also, check out Hearst’s Lift Every Voice Project as Black elders in Texas share what it’s like to be Black in America. See what lessons you can learn from their legacies. 

The Legacy of Malcolm X 

Ilyasah Shabazz has not one, but two, enormous pairs of shoes to fill. She’s the daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. (If you don’t know who she is, the National Park Service names her an American Hero.) Soledad talks to Ilyasah about carrying on her family’s legacy

For more in-depth conversations about identity, watch our Matter of Fact Listening Tour, “To Be An American: Identity, Race And Justice.”

Buzz Buzz 

Quite the resume for Benjamin Banneker. A freeman born in 1731, he was an astronomer, a mathematician, a surveyor, and an author. He was also one of the first scientists to study cicada life cycles. But, like many African American intellectuals, most of his work was overlooked. So, this weekend, we’re looking at some of his major discoveries and the challenges for African American academics following in his footsteps.

Help for Rural Hospitals, Stat

Last August, Correspondent Jessica Gomez took us inside Titus Regional Medical Center in Texas. It’s one of hundreds of rural hospitals fighting to keep their doors open. And facing down a deadly pandemic didn’t help. We’re checking in with the facility’s CEO to see how they’re still hanging on. 

See when and where you can watch Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien this weekend.