Diversity Equality Inclusion - June 10, 2022

Celebrating Juneteenth

By Taneisha Hampton
GHBC Administrator of Assisted Living

Juneteenth is a celebration of my ancestors’ freedom. It’s a holiday known by many names, including Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day and Emancipation Day. When President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, slavery did not end immediately for all those enslaved. It continued in many parts of America including Texas, which would endure slavery for another two and a half years. On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and shared the news of President Lincoln’s proclamation. Many consider it a second Independence Day and Juneteenth is now the longest-running African American holiday in the United States. While the African American community has long celebrated Juneteenth, this holiday remains largely unknown to many Americans.

“Freedom

Freedom

I can’t move

Freedom, cut me loose

Singin’, freedom

Freedom

Where are you?

‘Cause I need freedom, too

I break chains all by myself

Won’t let my freedom rot in hell

Hey! I’ma keep running”

–        Beyoncé’s “Freedom”                        

Unfortunately, the freedoms delivered by Juneteenth did not erase racism, inequality and injustice. Today, 156 years later, the fight for justice and freedom continues. People from different backgrounds, religions, genders and racial groups are still working together to make our world a better place.

Say their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Blacks. We continue to fight for you.

Juneteenth is a reminder that the marathon continues, as we strive to break the chains that extend our oppression. Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19. It’s a celebration for African Americans everywhere and a reminder to never give up hope in uncertain times. People honor Juneteenth in many ways, from parties and family gatherings to advocacy and other festivities to promote cultural awareness, education and achievement. I’ve always admired that it’s not centered on what we have endured, but on our strength to love ourselves and each other through it all.

“Even though the story has never been tidy, and Black folks have had to march and fight for every inch of our freedom, our story is nonetheless one of progress.” —Michelle Obama

Juneteenth is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It’s not just Black History, it’s American history.

“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.” —Barack Obama

Happy Juneteenth!

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About the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Committee: We are a group of staff and residents who together serve a mission to educate, embrace and empower a workplace of diversity, equality and inclusion. Our vision is to seek open and honest communication and collaboration that will inform and celebrate the cultural, ethnic and sexual orientation of all members of our staff without bias.

Questions or comments? Please contact us dei@goodwinliving.org.

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What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced that all enslaved people were free. Learn more about the history of this federal holiday.

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