Juneteenth is a very significant holiday in the Black community because it commemorates the day when slavery was effectively ended in the United States. While the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 deemed that all enslaved people “shall be freed”, Confederates in Texas actively withheld knowledge of the Proclamation and continued to build a safe-haven for slavery for years. It was not until June 19th, 1865 when General Gordon Granger read Order No. 3, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” that the last group of enslaved people, over 250,000 individuals, were freed in Texas. While the 13th amendment wasn’t established until December, thousands upon thousands of Black people celebrated their official freedom, leading to the birth of Juneteenth. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday in 47 states. Texas was the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday in 1980. Members of the Black community have been celebrating Juneteenth for decades because they see it as their true independence day.
Dent stands in solidarity with members of the Black community. Members of our internal Dent team are members of this community, as are the vast majority of our students. We have taken this day off to allow our staff and students to celebrate the freedom of their ancestors. All Dent work will be paused because we want this day to be a day of remembrance and celebration. We have taken the time to reflect on the significance of Juneteenth so that we were able to grant our staff and students the space to celebrate.
As we take the time to celebrate the significance of Juneteenth, take the time to do some research. Invest in Black-owned businesses, and donate to different organizations so you are able to support the Black community. Take the time to sign petitions that could help make living in America more equal for minority communities, but most importantly, take the time to reflect on yourself. Take the time to ask yourself what changes you can make within your everyday life. Have the difficult conversations. Black Lives Matter. This weekend, make a dent.
- Reagan Moore and Breonna Massey on behalf of the Dent Team