Frayser Community Schools will begin Juneteenth (June 19) as a company holiday. The day is the oldest recognized national celebration of the end of slavery. As a result of the observance, all FCS network offices will be closed.
“With the newfound sense of awareness around blackness and black issues, it’s good to see that most companies and organizations are finally observing this as a national holiday. As an education organization that continuously seeks to fight against social injustice, it only makes sense that we do the same.
-Dr. Bobby White, Founder/CEO
We encourage our faculty, staff, students, and families to use this time to reflect, educate, and participate in civic engagement.
THREE QUICK FACTS ABOUT JUNETEENTH
ENSLAVED PEOPLE HAD ALREADY BEEN EMANCIPATED—THEY JUST DIDN’T KNOW IT.
On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Although the Emancipation Proclamation came 21⁄2 years earlier on January 1, 1863, many slave owners continued to hold their slaves captive after the announcement, so Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing African American freedom. So technically, from the Union’s perspective, the 250,000 enslaved people in Texas were already free—but none of them were aware of it, and no one was in a rush to inform them. (According to PBS.Org)
JUNETEENTH OFFICIALLY BECAME A TEXAS STATE HOLIDAY IN 1980.
Al Edwards, a freshman state representative, put forward the bill, H.B. 1016, making Texas the first state to grant this emancipation celebration. Since then, 45 other states and the District of Columbia have also commemorated or recognized the day.
ABOUT JUNETEENTH CELEBRATIONS
Juneteenth celebrations in the United States typically include prayer and religious services, speeches, educational events, family gatherings and picnics, and festivals with food, music, and dancing. The day is also celebrated outside the United States and is used to recognize the end of slavery as well as to celebrate African American culture and achievements.
ADDITIONAL JUNETEENTH RESOURCES
So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth? (NY Times)