The History of Juneteenth
Independence Day for many Americans is associated with July 4th, a holiday that celebrates the United States as a nation that is united, free, and self-governed.
While Independence Day signifies the freedom of a nation, it does not necessarily symbolize the freedom of all individuals. In a famous Independence Day keynote, Frederick Douglass noted “the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in the Declaration of Independence, aren’t extended to us.”
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There is another holiday known as Juneteenth that marks the political freedom and justice for all people. Juneteenth is the oldest known holiday in the US celebrating the abolition of slavery and calls for the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all individuals. The holiday is observed in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
The holiday originated from the moment when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation outlawing slavery in September 1862. The Proclamation was not immediately put into effect and the act of freeing enslaved people did not actually occur until June 19, 1865. This day came to be referred to as Juneteenth—a blend of June and nineteenth, and it commemorates the day slavery ended in the United States.
How TTL Honors Juneteenth
In celebration of Juneteenth, Talent Tech Labs closed the business on Friday, June 19th. As a progressive organization, we encourage our team to find ways to volunteer, raise their voice, and commemorate the importance of the day and what it stands for. As a place that truly appreciates the value of diversity, Talent Tech Labs aspires to promote equity and justice where it has been long ignored or unequally applied. Working together, we can collectively turn the tide. That’s a mission worth giving our best.
Additional Resources for Juneteenth
There is a website entirely devoted to Juneteenth that offers a more in-depth context of its history, festivities, its decline as well as its resurgence, and the modern perspective of the holiday.
A recent news article from NBC discusses the importance of the holiday in the recent re-awakening to racial inequalities and the pressing need to re-evaluate justice for all.