BSM Director of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Dennis Draughn, shares a message with the BSM community on this Juneteenth:
Today we remember the freeing of the last enslaved Africans on June 19, 1865. While President Abraham Lincoln had signed the emancipation proclamation abolishing slavery in the United States nearly two and a half years earlier, slavery remained in pockets of the United States until the last captive Africans were freed by Union General Gordon Granger in Texas on this day.
This historic event has been called America's second Independence Day, marking when the last of the enslaved people in America were released from captivity. The fight for equal rights continued for more than one hundred years through the civil rights movement of the 1960s and even to this day, we at BSM can be examples of caring and loving others while being vigilant in our commitment to equality for all people.
Juneteenth is a national holiday traditionally celebrated with public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation, festive events, and exhibitions celebrating the rich customs and traditions of African-American culture.
As ONE BSM, we are united by the belief that each of us was created in the image of God, expressed by showing understanding, compassion, and respect for one another. I encourage you to join me in offering a prayer of gratitude for the many brave men and women who advocated for the rights of those impacted by slavery, and that we will affirm our commitment to being a community of faith known for embracing our differences and honoring the diverse cultures and traditions of BSM.