Juneteenth History & BATL's Mission To Inform

"Emancipation Day, Freedom Day or the country's second Independence Day, Juneteenth is one of the most important anniversaries in our nation's history."
Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as "Juneteenth," by the newly freed people in Texas.

Juneteenth marks the celebration of not only the signing of the emancipation proclamation but – more importantly – the news of emancipation reaching the farthest reaches of the US at the time. We at BATL recognize the importance of supporting and celebrating Juneteenth as it’s so integral to the diverse fabric of not only American society but also the world at large.

Acknowledgement, Celebration And Clarifying Key Points:

It’s important to note that Juneteenth did not mark the end of slavery in the US and that the struggles of African American people have continued in various ways in the many years since. Though, acknowledging and celebrating Juneteenth regardless of the color of our skin is an important step in becoming the nation and people we strive to be. Holidays in the U.S. are usually marked with some sort of party, however Juneteenth, having just recently been declared a federal holiday in the country, is still evolving for what it means for every American but it’s important to note that due to the nature of it – it should come with a sense of responsibility to acknowledge and reflect on our country’s history. 

BATL’s Involvement And How You Can Show Support:

BATL has donated $500 to the NAACP. Companies involving themselves in celebrating holidays can often seem like an attempt at capitalizing on the moment. We at BATL want to make sure that we avoid doing such things and, instead, aim to use our voice to amplify voices and to take a position of listening and understanding of the struggles that African American people – in many ways – still face today.

One of the easiest ways to get involved and celebrate Juneteenth is to seek to learn. You can reach out to your local NAACP chapter, National African American History Museum and other organizations and charities that uplift black voices and businesses. Additionally, there’s so much that can be done locally. For the holiday itself you can search “Juneteenth celebrations near me” and in general to support your neighbors and community you can always search “Black owned businesses near me”.
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