Observing Juneteenth — A Commemoration of the End of Slavery

Knotel is committed to observing Juneteenth, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On Friday, June 19th, Knotel will pause its business to disconnect from work and reconnect with the community during this difficult time.

On June 19, 1865, about two months after the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Va., Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. General Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on Jan. 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln.

The holiday received its name by combining June and 19. The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”

We’ll be using this time to volunteer, demonstrate, or simply reflect. We stand in solidarity with the Black Community and all of our employees, customers, and fellow citizens against racism, violence and hatred.

If you’re off this Friday and looking for ways to participate during this monumental time, here are some great places to get started as suggested by our own employees and partners.

Spend time reading and learning

Read the work of James Baldwin, Ta-Nahesi Coates, Angela Davis, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Richard Wright, and Malcolm X. More recent books like How to be Antiracist, White Fragility, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, and White Rage provide contemporary insight on how to show up for communities of color. Purchase them from your local bookstore, and check out more resources here.

Engage with media created by People of Color

Read TheGrio, The Root, Ellen McGirt’s Race Forward, and Rachel Cargle. Listen to podcasts like Code Switch, Intersectionality Matters, and Race Forward.

Support organizations that are moving the needle on racial justice

Color of Change, Campaign Zero, the Anti-Racism Project, the NAACP, UnidosUS, and the ACLU are a handful of the organizations working nationally and locally for social justice issues facing communities of color. Sign up for their mailing lists, donate, respond to their calls to action, and find other ways to get involved.

Stand up for People of Color

We ALL need to stand up for what is right. Call out racist actions — explicit or implicit — when you see them. Speak up through protest or simply challenge yourself (and those around you) to examine opinions and actions. You can learn more about how to be an ally here and here.

Get involved in the political process

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, demand accountability from your elected officials and advocate for/support candidates who share your values. Most importantly, vote (register here) – and encourage others in your community to do the same.

This is just the beginning for us. Black lives have and always will matter. Let’s seize this moment to make this point painfully clear. Now is not the time to look away.