The Black Freedom Struggle Continues
This year, our 55th, and henceforth, the Center for Constitutional Rights will formally observe Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all staff. Long celebrated in many Black communities, the first Juneteenth immortalized June 19, 1865, the day on which the last enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, were formally emancipated, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Officially, emancipation would not be fully realized until December 18 of the same year with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment and the release of enslaved people from Union border states Delaware and Kentucky. This astonishing delay, deliberate and dehumanizing, together with the fact that our national “independence day” is an active denial of this history, reflects just how difficult and long is the road is towards Black freedom and justice.
Still, we celebrate Juneteenth and the continued, righteous resistance of the Black freedom movement. For us, Juneteenth will be a day of respite and reflection, of jubilation and freedom dreaming. Let Juneteenth serve as an invitation to strengthen our personal commitments to Black liberation and continue to inspire our pursuit of a world reconfigured and repaired.
In honor of our Juneteenth observation and commitment to staff rest, rejuvenation and reflection, we will not be putting forth new content this year. Instead, we invite you to revisit and recommit to the calls we made last year, relive the joy of celebration with our IG live take-overs, and join us in supporting our partners in the Black freedom struggle.