Doyin Richards's name has more of a story than most.

The writer, speaker and social media influencer shared a bit of his family's history that ties directly into the Juneteenth holiday and gives us a glimpse of how that history still directly impacts present generations.

He wrote on Facebook:

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via @keekeesimpson / Twitter

Every year on July 4, Americans everywhere celebrate their independence from British rule with fireworks, hot dogs, and plenty of over-the-top displays of patriotism. However, when the U.S. declared its freedom in 1776, hundreds of thousands of people living in the U.S. were enslaved.

All Americans became truly free on June 19, 1865, a day that would come to be known as Juneteenth. On that day, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.

The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves two-and-a-half years earlier and the Civil War with had ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April. But Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.

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James Madison is known as the "father of the Constitution." But while he and the convention delegates built the country on paper, slaves were building it everywhere else.

Today, Madison's historic home Montpelier is open to the public. Visitors can explore the mansion, the Madison family cemetery, acres of picturesque hills, and learn more about Montpelier's enslaved community by touring slaves' quarters.

The mansion at Montpelier. All images via James Madison's Montpelier, used with permission. Photo by Pam Soorenko.

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Aspen Institute

If you want to walk across the country, you need a few things: passion, persistence, and good shoes.

Luckily, 90-year-old Opal Lee has all three.

Lee set out on foot from her home in Fort Worth, Texas, on Aug. 31, 2016, with a mission to walk all the way to Washington D.C. And no, it's not just for exercise, a Guinness record, or some sort of Forest Gump-level brush with boredom.

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