As our parent organization Princeton University observes Juneteenth for the second year, and as the United States government formally declares Juneteenth a federal holiday, Eyewire HQ is taking a holiday weekend as well— but not without offering a special Happy Hour from 2-4 pm on June 18th. Standard Happy Hour bonuses apply, but note that your chat dot and leaderboard color will be a vibrant red, the traditional color of Juneteenth!
For those unfamiliar with this increasingly-celebrated holiday, Juneteenth is a contraction of “June 19th” but it specifically commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans. Although the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 had legally freed all slaves during the US Civil War, this news was not disseminated to all parts of the fractured country. Galveston Island in Texas was one such location where slavery continued to be formally practiced— until June 19th, 1865, when the enslaved population finally learned of their freedom. The following year, June 19th was observed as a day of jubilee in Galveston, and gradually this practice spread to other Black communities.
Nowadays, Juneteenth has come to hold important cultural significance in the ongoing struggle for Black liberation and recovery from the generational trauma of the transatlantic slave trade. At HQ, we know that simply recognizing a holiday is not equivalent to the hard material work needed to help this healing process; but right now there also could not possibly be a holiday more worth recognition than this one. Happy Juneteenth! We always say “for science,” but today we remember the most important thing of all: for human rights. ❤️
Artwork by Daniela Gamba