AMS Fulfillment is very pleased to see the establishment of Juneteenth as a national holiday, recognizing the end of slavery in the U.S., and acknowledging that it occurred on June 19, 1865. CNN announced the news on the Juneteenth holiday as follows:
“The Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a US holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The legislation has gained momentum since the massive Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd last year…”
AMS employees participated in the George Floyd protests by organizing a March for Change on June 11th, 2020. AMS Chief Workforce Development Officer, Ken Wiseman, spoke to the crowd that day and made the following commitment: “Acceptance of a diverse and inclusive workplace will be a condition of being in this family.” Ken promised renewed efforts at AMS. In meetings that followed, AMS made progress in its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and we continue, every day, to ‘Be the Change’. Readers can follow our B Corporation and DE&I blogs HERE.
We are grateful to the US Congress for recognizing Juneteenth as a national holiday, knowing that this day has been steadfastly celebrated for many years by Black families and individuals whose ancestors were among the enslaved. We are honored to celebrate it as well.
The history of Juneteenth gives us insight into the conditions in the US following the Civil War. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, not all enslaved Africans were free. The following story of the true end of slavery is from the Smithsonian national museum of African American history and culture.
“But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later. Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” by the newly freed people in Texas.
“The post-emancipation period known as Reconstruction (1865-1877) marked an era of great hope, uncertainty, and struggle for the nation as a whole. Formerly enslaved people immediately sought to reunify families, establish schools, run for political office, push radical legislation and even sue slaveholders for compensation. Given the 200+ years of enslavement, such changes were nothing short of amazing. Not even a generation out of slavery, African Americans were inspired and empowered to transform their lives and their country.
“Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day. Although it has long celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans.”
Juneteenth is now a national holiday, and AMS Fulfillment is proud to have played a role, however small, in support of and in advancement toward a better world.