Tomorrow is Juneteenth, marking the end of slavery in the United States.
On June 19th, 1865, enslaved people in Texas finally learned that slavery had ended– a full two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
A few years after the original event, a group of Black community leaders, all former slaves, gathered $800 to purchase 10 acres of land to be a home to Juneteenth celebrations. They named it Emancipation Park, and today it is a landmark in Houston. Until the 1950’s, it was the only public park and swimming pool open to Black people in the city.
This year’s Juneteenth celebration occurs as our nation faces the deeply embedded racism that puts Black lives in danger and systematically denies justice. As a country, we are challenging ourselves to recognize the entrenched injustices and work to dismantle these systems. The oppression of Black people did not stop with the signing of the 13th amendment.
Tomorrow, June 19th, at 10am PST the American Bar Association’s Civil Rights and Justice Section is hosting a webinar called Juneteenth: Freedom Work Still To Do. We invite you to attend and learn more about this historic day, the racial inequalities that persist today, and the potential ways for law and policy to advance justice for Black women and men.
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