June 18, 2021
Why We Celebrate Juneteenth (and How You Can Too)
This Friday, Sendoso has given our team the day off from work in observance of the Juneteenth holiday.
Sendoso Chief Alliances Officer and Co-Founder shares, “As a company, we care deeply for each and every one of our employees, and we embrace people of every race, gender, social class, age, religion, identity, sexual orientation, and culture. We’re extremely excited to be celebrating Black culture and Juneteenth with our Sendoso family, and learning more about the significance of this special day in American history. Our team has shared resources with our staff in preparation for the holiday, and we look forward to listening, learning, and reflecting.”
What is Juneteenth?
On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with the triumphant news that the enslaved people were now all free. The news was met with shock and joy, and 155 years later, many still celebrate the crucial turning point in American history.
Granger’s message read, “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 at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts; and they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
However, Granger’s message was woefully late.
The Emancipation Proclamation
There are various theories why the enslaved people in Texas were not made aware that slavery was over in the Confederate states for over two years. Some speculate that the messenger the U.S. government sent to spread word about the Emancipation Proclamation was intercepted and killed before he could reach his destination. Others believe that the Southern enslavers purposely did not acknowledge their enslaved people were free to go because they wanted to ensure slave labor for one last cotton harvest. Many historians argue that the Emancipation Proclamation only took practical effect in the South after the U.S. Army was present to enforce the order.
Despite the reason behind the delay, once the word was finally delivered, over time, formerly enslaved Black Texans soon headed north, west, and east in massive numbers to live free lives, and participate in building the country we live in today.
Is Juneteenth a Federal U.S. Holiday?
Companies like Twitter, Target, Adobe, Mastercard, Nike, and hundreds more have released statements of solidarity with the Black community and announced Juneteenth as an official paid holiday for their organizations.
Sendoso is proud to honor the important day in American history and stand alongside other companies to celebrate the occasion.
How You Can Celebrate
“Sendoso recognizes Juneteenth as a symbolic reference point to measure and appreciate the vital progress and contributions made by Black people to American society. We’re encouraging our employees to observe the holiday by peacefully protesting, volunteering, supporting Black-owned businesses, or enjoying any one of the many rich, cultural contributions to this country by Black authors, filmmakers, artists, entertainers, or creatives.” – Braydan Young
- Donate to one of these organizations supporting the advancement of the Black community and all communities of color
- Support a Black-owned business or restaurant in your area
- Read books that speak to the Black experience in America and around the world
- Watch a television show or film about the Juneteenth holiday
- Follow social media accounts that amplify Black voices
- Share and discuss what you’ve learned with family, friends, colleagues, and others in your network
Sendoso is thrilled to observe this great day in history and will use the time off to reflect, grow, and engage.
Juneteenth serves as a powerful reminder of how far we’ve come as a country, and how much progress we still have left to make. For as the saying goes, if we don’t know our history, we are doomed to repeat it.
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