Metropolitan Group’s offices based in the U.S. are closed on Monday, June 20th, 2022 in observation of Juneteenth.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is now a federal holiday celebrated annually on June 19. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston that “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” It is important to note that this declaration of freedom came two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln freeing all enslaved peoples. Later that year, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed into law to officially abolish the practice of slavery after nearly 250 years.
Juneteenth is a day of reflection, healing and solidarity as we stand at the center of communal pain with Black and African American communities across our nation and globally. It is also a day to remember the very long and hard road African Americans have traveled—and continue to travel—to gain the full measure of citizenship in these United States.
We owe it to Black social justice champions to honor their legacies and to continue fighting for justice and equality for all—these heroes paid the ultimate price for the many freedoms we have now. As we continue to face devastating realities in this nation, such as the recent mass murders in Buffalo and Uvalde, we must center racial equity and continue to advocate for gun safety, as well as abortion and LGBTQIA+ rights, free and fair voting access, criminal justice reform, health equity, a more humane asylum and immigration system, as well as environmental and climate justice. Juneteenth is the day, every year, when we are reminded to renew our commitment to the struggle of freedom.
Resources for Juneteenth (compiled by Marco Holman):
- On Juneteenth book by Annette Gordon-Reed (watch her here)
- “Juneteenth Emancipation and Memory” in Lone Star Pasts: Memory and History in Texas by Gregg Cantrell, Elizabeth H. Turner, W. F. Brundage
- “This Juneteenth, I don’t feel like celebrating. Instead, I’m cooking barbecue in memory of Black lives lost.” by Lazarus Lynch
- “What is Juneteenth?” article by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
- “June 19 Should be a National Holiday” by Jonah Walters
- “History of Juneteenth” presented by Dr. Shennette Garrett-Scott
- Celebrating Juneteenth in D.C., 2022 from the Washington Post
- Celebrating Juneteenth in Portland, OR from Portland Monthly