Today is Juneteenth, or June 19th, an annual celebration for the end of slavery in the United States. The holiday commemorates this specific date; June 19th 1865, the day when federal troops arrived in Texas to ensure all enslaved people were freed.
This year, Juneteenth is becoming more important than ever since the growing protest of inequality and injustice affecting our black community. As a company built by minority women, we would like to honor this important day, to learn and to educate ourselves about the history of Juneteenth, the importance and the impact of this day to our life.
Juneteenth marks a date of major significance in American history and represents how freedom have been delayed for black people in America. In 1863, during the American Civil war, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. However, it took more than two years before the news reached African Americans living in Texas. It was not until Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19th 1865, that the state’s residents finally learned that slavery had been abolished. The former slaves immediately began to celebrate with prayer, feasting, song, and dance.
A State Holiday
Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth as a state holiday in 1980 and a number of other states subsequently followed suit. The day is also celebrated outside the United States, with organizations in a number of countries using the day to recognize the end of slavery and to celebrate the culture and many achievements of African Americans. And finally this year, the Governor and Mayor of New York City is declaring Juneteenth as an official state and city holiday to go into effect in 2021.
Let's join us together with our black community to reflect on the meaning of Juneteenth, to learn the history of black people in the country through their pain and struggle. And to work ahead on how to erase any prejudice, inequality and injustice against the black community, minority and people of colored.
Multiple sources : Encyclopaedia Britannica, Juneteenth, NY Daily News
Artworks by Gia Graham and Sacrée Frangine