A Legacy America Must Confront

(Originally posted June 19th, 1865) – On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally received the news that they were free. 155 years later, we as a nation are still struggling to understand that the legacy of slavery is systemic racism, and it continues to shape every aspect of life in America. If today’s celebration of Juneteenth is new to you, I encourage you to take a few minutes to learn about this holiday and about the many ways racial injustice still harms Black communities. Black Lives Matter. And despite our country’s repeated failures to acknowledge, affirm, or respect it, Black lives have always mattered. We have much work to do to ensure that we finally dismantle the racist structures left to us by slavery. Please join me—by joining in celebration today, and by continuing this critical work in the months and years ahead.