Juneteenth: Honoring Black joy and resilience

 

 

On June 19, we commemorate the emancipation of enslaved Black people in the United States.

 

To the Black community: We hope tomorrow is a day full of Black joy as you celebrate your power and resilience.

 

To the rest of us: Over the past year, white supremacy and domestic terrorism caused the murder of Black lives. It also caused the Jan. 6 insurrection, which was a great threat to our democracy. We cannot ignore the hate in this country.

 

We cannot ignore it in our workplaces, either. Persistent wage disparities are a tool of white supremacy. So is chronic unemployment and disproportionate job losses for Black workers during the pandemic.

 

Those are our issues. That’s what the labor movement fights against.

 

We fight so working people can live our lives, speak with our own voices and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

 

So we’ll push for legislation that empowers Black workers like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. We’ll protect Black voting rights by supporting the For the People Act (S. 1). We’ll say the names of those who were taken from us by racist violence and fight for police reform.

 

The historic signing by President Biden making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a recognition of Black power and a reflection of America’s ongoing journey to tell our nation’s story. But we have more work to do.

 

In Solidarity,

 

Team AFL-CIO