A celebration of freedom, an ongoing fight against oppression.
On June 19th, Indeed is proud to recognize and celebrate Juneteenth, a significant date for African Americans in their continued fight for freedom and equality in the U.S. This year, the significance of the holiday is amplified by the renewed fight for racial justice in America and around the world.
What is Juneteenth?
The significance of Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is often misunderstood. Some assume it’s the date when enslaved people were freed, or the day that slavery ended. In fact, like the fight for freedom and equality today, it’s much more complex than that.
For many enslaved people in Texas, it took two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, which legally ended slavery, for them to learn of their freedom.
Throughout that time, oppressors in Texas ignored the law and continued illegally enslaving people until June 19th, 1865 when Union general Gordon Granger enforced federal orders in Galveston, Texas that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Since then, Juneteenth has become a symbolic date representing true African American freedom.
It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection, rejoicing, assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future.
As we celebrate this historic date in the midst of a global pandemic and protests that seek to dismantle the legacy of slavery that continues to linger in American law and society, it is a reminder that the residue of injustice doesn’t wash away with simple changes in legislation. The quest for equality is a constant battle and requires energy, education and unity.
In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities, and religions are coming together to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today.
Reflections from Indeed’s Black Inclusion Group
“Celebrating Juneteenth is important for me because it signifies the point of freedom for my people, black people. Our country’s independence was in 1776, but ours wasn’t until 1865. I first learned about Juneteenth when I was studying the Holocaust in Houston.
It took me 22 years and a symposium about another atrocity to learn about one of my own. I hope more public schools implement the history of slaves in this country into their curriculum so that doesn’t happen again.” – Gyasi Barber, Global Product Solutions Lead
“Marcus Garvey once said “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
I celebrate Juneteenth so that I never forget to be appreciative of the fight my ancestors endured. With my future in mind, I celebrate Juneteenth so that I can be proud of the woman I am and live unapologetically in my skin.
I celebrate Juneteenth so that my children will know where they came from, love themselves beyond measure and strive to make their own mark in this world. I will refuse to forget my roots… That is why I celebrate Juneteenth.” – Jessica Cheeks, Client Success Specialist
“Juneteenth is a time to celebrate our freedom but it also shows that the work isn’t done. We are not equal even though we have fought to be. Juneteenth is a time to celebrate the work we accomplished so far, but the best is yet to come.” – William Bryan, Client Success Specialist
Indeed’s dedication to Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging
“Inclusion and Belonging is one of Indeed’s five Core Values. We have been working for years to raise awareness, grow allyship, and create an open and supportive environment for all employees. We do this because it makes Indeed a better place to work. But the most important motivation is that our mission is to help people get jobs. Economic opportunity — access to jobs — is core to the fight against racism, injustice, and inequity. The more Indeed represents the world around us, the better we are at helping all people get jobs.” – Chris Hyams, CEO of Indeed.
Happy and hopeful Juneteenth to all!
Read CEO Chris Hyams’ full statement of acknowledgement and support to the Black community