Freedom is worthy of celebration and reflection.

By: Lillian Doremus

Celebrate, learn, be an ally. Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in the U.S. BOLD has planned a series of events leading up to the June 19 holiday.

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Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated annually on June 19 to mark the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved people of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended. His announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation issued on January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. By combining June and 19, the holiday came to be known as Juneteenth.

Juneteenth is both celebratory and somber as it marks the newfound freedom of enslaved African-Americans on the day they were notified they were free. The holiday is often referred to as “Day of Freedom” or “Emancipation Day”. Now a century and a half later, cities throughout the U.S. and abroad celebrate this important occasion.

This Texas V Teamer has celebrated since childhood.

Learn about the significance of Juneteenth from Antoinette Latham of our Learning & Development team, who’s been celebrating the holiday with her family all of her life.

As a resident of Texas, Antoinette says Juneteenth was always a big deal in her home state with countless celebrations taking place in parks, backyards and homes. Antoinette’s family gets pretty competitive with a domino competition. She claims no one can beat her, and that she is a self-professed “Dominologist” because of her superior game skills. Watch the video to learn more about the significance of Juneteenth to Antoinette and her family.

Go big or go home this Juneteenth.

Keeping with a long tradition of focusing on education and reflection as key components for Juneteenth celebrations, our BOLD (Black Originators Leaders and Doers) ERG (employee resource group) has planned events to teach, inform and remind us about the long path to achieving freedom, as well as the steps that remain ahead to achieve equity. Be enlightened. Be curious. Be informed. Be celebratory.

V Team, go to VZWeb to join the conversation

About the author:

Lillian Doremus is a member of the Verizon HR Communications team. She highlights workplace culture and employee achievements.

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