Juneteenth: Black Joy as Resistance

By Team Espy

Juneteenth. Celebrate the emancipation of Black Americans.
Juneteenth. Celebrate the emancipation of Black Americans.

Today is Juneteenth: A day to celebrate the emancipation of Black Americans from chattel slavery, and remember the long and ongoing struggle for freedom in America.

We know that though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that a group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were finally freed. And of course, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t prevent Black codes, Jim Crow, or the systemic racism that hurts Black Americans to this day.

Our country has a long way to go. But we can start by acknowledging Black joy as an act of resistance.

As you hopefully saw, Juneteenth was celebrated in a BIG way today! All across the country, folks participated in Black-led celebrations and rallies. Several states and companies declared Juneteenth an official holiday. We must ensure that Juneteenth is recognized as an important celebration of emancipation on June 19 every year.

This afternoon, Team Espy showed up for Black Lives Matter Mississippi’s Juneteenth street festival on historic Farish Street in downtown Jackson, Mississippi. It was a space to celebrate Blackness and connect with one another.

People dancing at the Juneteenth celebration.
People dancing at the Juneteenth celebration.
Juneteenth celebration in downtown Jackson.
Juneteenth celebration in downtown Jackson.

There was dancing, good food, and we all pitched in to help paint this mural! During times like these, celebrations like this are more important than ever.

Juneteenth mural.
Juneteenth mural.

On Juneteenth, and every day, we must commit to fighting for justice. A better and brighter Mississippi is possible if we continue pushing forward, and if we continue fighting systems and symbols that hold us back, instead of uniting us.

Our campaign is committed to that fight, and we hope you are, too.

— Team Espy

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