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Celebrate Freedom

Juneteenth is both a day for remembering where we once were, celebrating where we are, and taking a moment to reflect and imagine what a world that is truly liberated would look like — and how we can all contribute. At Kubecost, we believe in a world where equity for all is at the forefront, and diversity is not an afterthought. While Juneteenth is now a federal holiday in the U.S., 158 years ago this was a dream that many never believed would come true. There is still work to be done and we recognize that our understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion should always be expanding. It is important that we take this Juneteenth to honor the work of those who came before us to get us to where we are today.

Commencement of Junteenth: A brief look back in time

Juneteenth emerges from what one can imagine was another blistering hot day on June 19th, 1865 in the small town of Galveston, TX nestled on the southeastern edge of the state near the Gulf of Mexico. Although the Emancipation Proclamation legally granted enslaved people in Confederate States their freedom on January 1st, 1863, the news was slow to spread throughout the country. Union Soldiers traveled from state to state spreading the news. When 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston on June 19th to share the news with more than 250,000 enslaved people, freedom had finally arrived in Texas and joy erupted. From then on, Juneteenth was a day for acknowledging the arrival of Emancipation. Subsequently, the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified later that year which abolished slavery throughout the nation.

The here and now: Today’s world and our future

On June 17th, 2021, a bill was signed to solidify Juneteenth as a federally recognized holiday and has since seen a revival. Today, the holiday is celebrated throughout the United States in African American communities from coast to coast as a day of fellowship and service, in remembrance of being set free from the bounds of chattel slavery. At Kubecost we honor the day by allowing our team members to enjoy the time with their families and friends, and making space for honoring those who worked hard to get us where we are closing our doors and allowing honor as we also close doors on this day. Although the days of enslavement are behind us, the emancipation of African Americans is still ongoing in this nation. There is still work being done so that there can be liberation from the socioeconomic, medical, and legal barriers faced today. With that in mind, the lyrics of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” ring as true today as they did when written by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson in 1900. “Let us march on till victory is won.”