Activism & Advocacy

What is Juneteenth?

“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 personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” —General Orders, Number 3; Headquarters District of Texas, Galveston, June 19, 1865

These words issued by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, era, according to historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., helped establish the basis for “Juneteenth” (“June” plus “nineteenth”), the most popular annual celebration of emancipation from slavery in the U.S., observed in Black communities for 155 years.

Want to learn more? Here are some resources:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/11/us/what-is-juneteenth-trnd/index.html

https://www.juneteenth.com/history.htm

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/15/what-is-juneteenth-holidays-history-explained.html

Want to do more? Sign the petition here at Change.org to make Juneteenth a national holiday – join 93 year old Opal Lee’s quest to make it an official national holiday. Learn her story here.

Photo:  An Emancipation Day celebration band, June 19, 1900; courtesy of the University of North Texas Libraries, Wikimedia Commons.

COMMENTS

4 responses to “What is Juneteenth?

    1. Thanks for writing in, Janet. We hear you and appreciate you taking the time to express yourself.

      Here is some context on why we posted this article: Senior Planet is a project of the nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), and social advocacy has always been at the heart of what OATS does. You can read more about OATS advocacy here (https://oats.org/advocacy/). We speak out about many issues that impact older adults, including ageism, workforce discrimination, transit issues, and more. We also empower older adults to advocate for the issues that matter to them. We specifically offer a course called ACTivate that teaches digital tools for civic engagement, and its participants have had respectful, meaningful conversations even when they disagree politically.

      Juneteenth is a day commemorating the end of slavery, which Americans have widely acknowledged as an important step in our history, regardless of their political affiliation. In the end, Senior Planet is a politically diverse group, united by our desire to improve the lives of older adults everywhere.

      We hope to see you at a Senior Planet program soon!

  1. when I click on petition here, the page goes blank, : (

    thought you’d like to know. I’ll try other links and see if I can find one that leads me to the petition.

    thanks for all you’re doing! I love your newsletters.
    jean

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