Today’s historic signing by President Biden making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a recognition of Black power and a reflection of America’s ongoing journey to tell our nation’s story. As we honor the sacred Juneteenth holiday that celebrates Black resilience and joy, America’s labor movement will continue to use our voice to lift up and learn from the Black experience. We must be a voice for all who live and work in the United States and to say out loud the names of those who were taken from us by racist violence.
Though explicit slavery has been abolished for more than 150 years, the exploitation of Black labor continues to this day through a systemically racist economy designed to promote wage disparity in the workplace and the chronic unemployment, underemployment and economic exploitation of Black people. America’s labor movement must remain at the tip of the spear to uproot systemic racism in all forms if we seek to fully uphold our nation’s promise of dignity for Black people.