SO let’s talk about today, Juneteenth.
On January 1, 1863 the emancipation proclamation freed slaves that were then in rebellion against the United States – but it did not free ALL slaves, this was not the case for those on the border states.
In the summer of 1865, the Civil War ended and Union General Gordon Granger, with his troops, traveled to Texas to announce General Orders No. 3 on June 19.
-General Orders No. 3 stated: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”
-Part of the General Orders No. 3 encouraged the newly freed people to stay with their past owners and work for wages. “The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
There was a period after Juneteenth known as the “Scatter”. While it was encouraged for previously enslaved people to stay in the same place and work for the same people, many left the area, searching for family members and a new place to start over.
While we celebrate Juneteenth today, there was a period during the time of Jim Crow laws were there was little celebration. The Great Depression made it hard for those working to take off to celebrate the holiday. Yet, it was revived during the Civil Rights Movement – The Poor People’s March planned by Martin Luther King Jr. was purposely scheduled to coincide with the date. March participants took the celebrations back to their home states and soon the holiday was reborn.
On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which declared Juneteenth a federal holiday! (This holiday is the first holiday to be approved since President Ronald Reagan signed a 1983 bill that approved Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday).
It is important to acknowledge that there is still major inequalities that the Black community faces today, such as racial wealth gap, disproportionate incarceration, and longstanding health disparities.
That being said, here are ten Black charities you should donate to in celebration of this holiday, by making your allyship more action based than performative based.
TWOC offers support and resources for trans women of color, a highly marginalized community.
Black Girls Code is on a mission to increase the number of black women working in computer programming. By hosting after school programs and workshops, the org plans to train one million young black women in the field by the year 2040.
The NAACP is a long standing civil rights organization that works on a broad scale to achieve racial justice for citizens in urban communities.
Rapper Common founded this organization in the 1990s to provide greater opportunities for under-serviced children through mentorship, community service and the arts.
The Pennsylvania Prison Society is a long-standing organization dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system. By providing prison bus services, offering reentry services and newsletter subscriptions for current and former offenders, the organization advocates for the rights of those affected by incarceration.
NBJC’s work centers around HIV/AIDS, and makes employment and education opportunities more inclusive for black LGBT citizens.
The Empowerment Program offers resources like employment assistance and housing referrals for black women experiencing poverty, homelessness and incarceration.
With multiple branches throughout the nation, The Innocence Project works to exonerate those who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes by providing free legal assistance.
The Black Women’s Blueprint services black women affected by issues such as sexual violence, abuse and incarceration.
Fierce is New York-based organization catering to the extremely underserved LGBT youth of color.
Happy Juneteenth, everyone!