Happy Juneteenth! Today, we commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in Texas, the last Confederate slave holdout, on June 19, 1865–two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. For Black Americans, Juneteenth is a celebration of liberation and Black culture as well as a reminder of the persisting struggle towards freedom.
In recognition of Juneteenth, our partners at The Institute of the Black World 21st Century recently held this “Why We Can’t Wait: HR-40 On the Move” rally with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), and national reparations movement leaders. We invite you to watch the event to learn more about H.R. 40, the congressional bill to study and develop a plan to address reparations for Black Americans. We also encourage you to consider ways you can support Black community members in your own neighborhoods.
But, as we commemorate Juneteenth, we also want to acknowledge the recent waves of violence across the country and the globe, particularly towards people of color. We are heartbroken and outraged by the gun violence that is rampant across our communities, including the mass shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a Taiwanese community church in California, and most recently, in Owo, Nigeria, where 50 worshippers were killed in church.
Meanwhile, Black communities are still reeling from the racist violence in Buffalo that ended the lives of 10 people, including grandmothers and the elderly, at a community grocery store. This horrific, targeted, racist violence is woven into the fabric of American history, reminiscent of the Red Summer of 1919, the Tulsa Massacre of 1921, the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, and the lynching terror campaign against Black Americans in the South, the 2015 massacre at Mother Emmanuel AME church in Charleston, and much more. America has not learned from its history and white supremacist violence, often spurred by right-wing conspiracy theories, continues to threaten Black communities today.
We encourage you to check out the resources below, which share donation options to support the needs of families affected by these tragedies:
- Step Out Buffalo shared a list of donation pages to provide financial support and food to the families of the victims.
- Feed Buffalo, a Black-led organization providing food pantries in Buffalo, is collecting donations for families in East Buffalo affected by the shooting.
- Colored Girls Bike Too, a mobility justice organization, is collecting non-perishable food items in pop-up sites around Buffalo to distribute to families affected by the shootings. They also point to other monetary donation sites here.
- Here is a list of GoFundMe fundraisers to support families of the victims in Uvalde.
- Here is a GoFundMe to support families affected by the shooting at the Taiwanese community church in California.