While Independence Day marked freedom for some Americans, Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in America and represents the promise of freedom for all.
On June 19, 1865, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston Texas to free a quarter of a million Black people still enslaved following the end of the American Civil War. On that date, Major General Gordon Granger read General Order Number 3, which begins:
The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.
Over one hundred and fifty years later, despite many efforts including Reconstruction, the civil rights movement, and the Black Lives Matter movement, this promise of equality of rights for Black people in America has not been fulfilled. We are personally and professionally committed to working for racial justice, and we invite you to join us.
Ask Adam will close in observance of Juneteenth this year on Friday, June 19, and it will be a regular company holiday in the future.
- History of Juneteenth: http://juneteenth.com/history.htm
- Frederick Douglass, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”: https://www.npr.org/2003/07/04/1319240/frederick-douglass
- Ways You Can Help: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co