Juneteenth is a holiday to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in the United States. In 1865, a Union General arrived in Galveston, Texas to share the news. Since then, the holiday has been widely celebrated. In fact, as of June 15th, 2021, the Senate passed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Juneteenth is also known as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day, Freedom Day and Liberation Day.
Chief Diversity Officer at NPR, Keith Woods, said: "On this Juneteenth, when history itself is under political assault, I'm struck by the fragility of truth and the profound consequence of ignorance and stunted memory. It's not enough to honor the strength, sacrifice and perseverance of the Black Americans whose freedom this day celebrates. We have to also remember that, 156 years later, the legacy of slavery and the great grandchildren of racism are alive in the news today."
Whitney Maddox, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Manager at NPR collected videos from different colleagues which explain what Juneteenth means to them and how they celebrate.
Whitney left us with this message: "As we reflect on the two and a half years between the Emancipation Proclamation and its arrival to Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, we remember that none of us are free unless all of us are free. Let us commit to the movement to center, to celebrate, and to affirm Black lives, Black freedom, Black resistance, Black resilience, and Black joy."
Happy Juneteenth from all of us at NPR!