The California labor movement joins in the celebration of Juneteenth, recognizing the end of slavery in the U.S. with a proclamation in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. While many are aware of the historical significance of this day, few know about its connection to the struggle for workers’ rights and equality for Black workers.
On Juneteenth, we celebrate liberation and honor the sacrifices and contributions Black Americans have made to the labor movement. Yet the struggle for equality continues. Police violence continues. Economic injustice remains pervasive. Frontline workers have yet to receive hazard pay. Workplace discrimination keeps qualified working Americans from earning a paycheck with dignity. As we celebrate Black resistance, Black healing, and Black Joy, we recommit ourselves to the fight for racial equality. For racial injustice is an injustice against the entire working class, and no one is free until we are all free.