Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865—over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863—Texas became the last Confederate state forced to uphold the Proclamation. It wasn’t until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed in 1866, however, that chattel slavery was abolished in all states.
Since 1865, Juneteenth has been celebrated annually in Texas and other parts of the U.S. by Black communities. Juneteenth is an opportunity to uplift Black resilience and reflect on what must be done to meaningfully redress historic discrimination and racial violence. The history of U.S. agriculture is inseparable from the history of racism, and startling statistics such as the fact that Black farmers have been dispossessed of over 98 percent of their land over the past century due in part to systemic racism and discriminatory lending practices is a reminder of that.
Changing federal policy is crucial for restitution for Black farmers, and there are so many incredible organizations that we are honored to work with that are engaged in this critical work. Throughout the week we will be sharing information about these organizations on our social media and ways you can support their work.