"Juneteenth National Independence Day"
Well before it became an official federal holiday in 2021, Black Americans have been celebrating Juneteenth. Over the last 150+ years, June 19 has become a day of remembrance, a day of community, and a day of celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.
Though slavery officially ended in 1863 through the Emancipation Proclamation, as the Civil War raged on, many of those enslaved, particularly in hard-to-reach and deep South communities, did not hear the news—or were willingly kept ignorant by their enslavers. For some, like those in Galveston, Texas, it took two years.
The day those in Galveston found out is now the day we celebrate. It’s the day Black working people can look to and commemorate as the start of their journey to justice, a fight that continues to this day.
While those of all backgrounds hold Juneteenth as a day to honor Black freedom, it's also a day to push for continued reform. It reminds us that we must continue to stand up for what’s right, to defend voting rights, to defend Black lives, and to demand reforms and justice in the face of oppression and systemic racism. It's a day to rally together and double down on our fight for Unions For All, for better pay, and for the benefits and protections that are a foundation to justice.
We’re glad you can celebrate with us today, and we’re glad you continue to stand with working people of every race and place as we fight toward a world where slavery, in all its forms, can come to an end. Happy Juneteenth.
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