Posted on June 19, 2020

Hello Biology Department!

Today, June 19, is a North Carolina recognized holiday known as Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a day to reflect on and celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. While the emancipation proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, many slave owners suppressed the message so they could continue the inhuman exploitation of enslaving Black people. However, on June 19, 1865-over two years after the emancipation proclamation was signed-union army general Gordon Granger read General Order Number 3 in the city of Galveston, Texas, leading to the end of slavery across the nation.

General Order Number 3 reads:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”

Although this message was read to the people of Galveston, Texas in 1863, it is clear that there are still so many injustices that Black people face in the United States. On this day, it is very important to recognize and learn more about American history. It points to the foundations of the systemic problems that we still face today.

We, the Biology department senators for the GSA, Tanya Zubov and Kathryn Bloodworth, propose that those in the Biology Department take today to reflect and learn more about this important day in history.

Currently, 48 of the 50 states recognize this day as a holiday. However, this very important day in American history should be recognized as a National Holiday!

We have included a few resources here that may help in your education and understanding of Juneteenth and the continued issues still occurring today:

Further information about current racial injustice: https://blacklivesmatter.com/