With efforts to discredit voters and racism still bubbling right at the surface of our national political dialogue, it is wonderful to take a moment to reflect on the progress we have made as a nation over the last 100 years since the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, followed eventually by Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, on June 19, 1865, their declaration of freedom, and finally, the ratification of the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865. Although the wheels of justice often turn far too slowly in a democracy, there is every reason continually to stop and celebrate the progress we have made over time and will continue to make in the future so that we can restore our strength for the work still to be done. While Juneteenth is a decidedly personal holiday for many Black families, we want to reinforce our commitment as allies for change and progress in an imperfect world by celebrating with them on this important national holiday. Please take a moment to reflect on your commitments as an ally, and reach out to Black friends and colleagues with a note in recognition of this important day.

Learn more at the National African American Museum of History & CultureListen to Nina Simone's protest anthem "Backlash Blues"