On June 19, 1865 – two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation – enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned they were finally free. They were informed by General Gordon Granger and his Union troops who declared, “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.”
From that day forward, June 19 came to be celebrated as Juneteenth. Black Americans were not granted equality of rights that day, as General Grant stated, but freedom was something to be celebrated, while equality – to this day, Juneteenth 2021 – is something Black Americans, 156 years later, continue to fight for.
The St. Louis CBTU Chapter is inviting unions and their members to participate in a Juneteenth Labor for Black Lives rally and clean-up of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive on Saturday, June 19.
The rally will be held from 10 – 11 a.m. on the rear parking lot of the St. Louis Urban League, 1408 N. Kingshighway Blvd. The clean-up of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Brightside St. Louis is providing all the necessary tools, gloves, trash bags and other equipment.
CBTU St. Louis asks that unions provide the names of members who will be participating by June 5 to ensure the necessary tools and supplies are available.