We have come so far, yet we have so far to go.
“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
On June 19, 1865, the enslaved men, women, and children of Galveston finally received word of their freedom in the last state of the Confederacy with institutionalized slavery. The announcement was met with celebration, a celebration that is now commemorated as Juneteenth, or Freedom Day.
It took two years for Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to reach the enslaved people of East Texas.
It took 156 years for Juneteenth to be recognized as a Federal holiday in the United States.
It will take even longer for true freedom to reach Black men, women, and children in our country. We see this in our work at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy as we fight for equal justice under the law for our clients. The majority of these clients are people of color disproportionately impacted by poverty, facing systemic and economic barriers to equity and opportunity.
We recognize the critical role our organization plays in building a more just community. Doing so requires taking a hard look at our practices and making sure that everything we do lives up to our standard of justice. In the face of systemic racism, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy stands with the Black community and its allies across the country in the movement to make change.
But today is a day of celebration. Juneteenth is an opportunity to remember the progress our country has made, the work that is left to be done, and envision a future where we all prioritize racial justice and equity.
Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy will close our office to observe Juneteenth. We observe this day to show support for our Black neighbors, colleagues and clients who deserve to be treated equally as human beings. Staff is encouraged to spend the day volunteering, reflecting on the true meaning of the holiday, or participating in community-led celebrations.
Celebrate Juneteenth with us:
Educate yourself: Spend the day learning about Juneteenth’s history, including how Black families felt after being emancipated.
Participate in local Juneteenth events: Find an event near you with these local guides: 23 Juneteenth celebrations in Charlotte area in 2022 and Juneteenth Charlotte 2022.
Reflect: While slavery ended in 1865, the racist system it built persists today. Use June 19 as a day to reflect on critical issues that perpetuate discrimination against Black people in America and throughout the world.
Place a sign in your front yard: Raise awareness and show your support for Juneteenth by decorating a sign for your front yard or door. This is a great way to help educate younger kids in your neighborhood who may not know about the holiday.
Celebrate with a cookout: Gather your friends and family together to celebrate freedom.
Keep the spirit of this special day alive by continuing to fight for justice for ALL!