In today’s world of instant information, mobile access to the internet, and a constant barrage of social media updates, it seems hard to fathom that the news cycle was ever anything but 24/7. Yet we know that despite the Emancipation Proclamation being signed on September 22, 1862, the news didn’t reach Texas until June 19, 1865! Fast forward a century, and you’ll find yourself on June 12, 1967 – the date the U.S. Supreme Court struck down anti-miscegenation laws to allow interracial marriages in the U.S. Yet even though the Supreme Court decision negated the enforceability of these laws, it wasn’t until 2000 that the last of the state laws prohibiting interracial marriage was removed, from the Alabama State Constitution.
So how is it that in 2020 – when information is literally at our fingertips – many of us have never learned about Loving Day or Juneteenth and the significance of these historical moments and celebrations? And as we approach these dates in 2021, what can we do to commemorate them and ensure that historical moments like these aren’t forgotten for future generations?
- Sign the petition to make Juneteenth a National Holiday.
- Visit #hellajuneteenth for actionable strategies to honor Juneteenth.
- Continue educating yourself with resources like Anti-Racism Daily or the Equal Justice Initiative’s A History of Racial Injustice.
- Evaluate corporation’s commitments to their communities using the Black Dollar Index and Just Capital’s Corporate Racial Equity Tracker.
- Understand the impacts of current and proposed legislation and how it may perpetuate systemic racism through legislation limiting teachers discussion of race, sex, and controversial issues or voting bills.
- Know your voting rights and use your voice to vote for the change you want to see.
- Ask your company to make Time To Vote.
- Check out the Juneteenth Reading List.
- Learn about ways to celebrate Loving Day.