On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday, the first national holiday to be established since Martin Luther King Day in 1983. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. At Cinnaire, we understand the incredible significance of this historic moment, and view Juneteenth not just as a day of celebration, but an opportunity to reflect on the injustice of the past and commit to pursuing social justice today and in our future.
Juneteenth is based on the date June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger led Union troops into Galveston, Texas, and announced that in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, “all slaves are free.” Months later, the 13th Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery.
Black Voices Recognized
Black Achievements Honored
Black Leaders Saluted
Black Stories Told
Black Voices Matter
Black Lives Valued
In its aftermath, Black Americans were elected to public offices and built schools, businesses, churches, and strong communities. Black men and women made huge advancements in science, industry and education. They fought valiantly for the US in both World Wars and every war since.
And yet, more than 150 years later, despite all their contributions, People of Color are still battling against racism. Redlining in communities made it impossible for Black Americans to purchase homes and develop wealth for their families. Unimaginable violence has been perpetrated against innocent citizens as they pray in church or shop at a local grocery store. We can do better.
Instead of commodifying the holiday with sales on furniture or cars—which bothers me greatly—we should use Juneteenth as a day to educate ourselves and our loved ones on the sacrifices and incredible contributions of Black Americans. Take time to pause, listen and learn with open minds and hearts. Envision how to advocate for our nation to live up to the promise of equal opportunity for all.
At Cinnaire, we stand in solidarity on Juneteenth and every day with our Black friends, colleagues and neighbors. We add our voice to the calls for racial justice and we are committed to supporting and promoting racial diversity not just within our company, but within our communities and the businesses we partner with.
This Juneteenth, I invite you to reflect, educate and advocate on all that this holiday represents, and then join us in our movement to commit acts of social equity every single day.
President and CEO, Cinnaire