The Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, declaring all enslaved people in the Confederate States free.
However, over 2 years on, more than 250,000 black people in the still Confederate state of Texas remained unlawfully enslaved.
It wasn’t until the 19th of June 1865 that General Granger and 1,800 bluecoats marched into Texas, declaring:
“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free."
The freed people of Texas, whilst the rest of the US celebrated their own milestones, would celebrate the 19th of June through readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, religious sermons and spirituals, preparation of food, as well as the creation of new games and traditions.
Celebrations spread over state lines, and in 1979 Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. Last June, President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday, proclaiming it as a day for all Americans to commemorate the end of slavery.
To all our people, US-based or not, we want to make you aware of and celebrate freedom with you on this day. Today marks a milestone, a first step taken on a long stairwell; Indeed it is a day to celebrate.
We are passionate about our mission to build diversity, create inclusion and encourage workplace innovation. We ensure that inclusion is the norm and not the exception. As a group Juneteenth is as important to us as it is to our people.
If you’d like to find out more about our Diversity Equity and Inclusion strategy, take a look at our blogs.
Happy Juneteenth to you all!