The Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law on January 1, 1863, but many of the enslaved people were not immediately free because Texas was still under Confederate control. Juneteenth – June 19, 1865 – celebrates the day that Union Soldiers marched to Texas, announcing the end of the Civil War, and officially freeing all enslaved African Americans. Although we celebrate the 4th of July as a day of freedom for America, it took nearly 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence for Americans to truly be free.
We encourage you to use this day to listen, learn, and advocate. Attend an event celebrating Black History in your area, or visit our IDE resources page to learn more about the inequality that still faces African Americans and other people of color today. Check in with your organization – what are they doing to support inclusion, diversity, and equity? How can you move that conversation forward?