At LiveVox, we’re committed to listening to, investing in, and supporting all members of our growing community, from employees to partners and customers.
This month while we celebrate Pride and honor the contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community, we’re also reflecting on an important date in American history. This Saturday, June 19th is Juneteenth—the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas—two months after the Confederacy had surrendered and two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freed 4 million slaves in the Southern states. Already a state holiday or commemorated day in many states, on June 17th President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, making June 19th a national holiday. LiveVox recognizes the importance of June 19 and everything it stands for.
Over the last year, events in our country have highlighted the systemic imbalances that Black Americans face, and Juneteenth reminds us that there’s still work to be done in educating ourselves on the importance of racial justice. We encourage our community to read books by Black authors, support Black-owned businesses, and donate to nonprofit organizations that defend civil rights and support and advance social justice. Whether it’s a small or large donation, we can make a difference. Here is a list of organizations that we encourage donations to:
For a more comprehensive list, visit this page.
Here are a few other ways you can observe Juneteenth:
1. Learn the full history
Although June 19, 1865, marks Juneteenth, the end of slavery was not so clear-cut. That’s why it’s valuable to start by educating yourself and others about the full history of Juneteenth and the events leading up to it. The many resources available include the book Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison and the film Miss Juneteenth, this list of books to read with children about the holiday, and this video tour through the Slavery and Freedom exhibition at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
2. Support Black-owned businesses
One of the top ways people say they will mark Juneteenth is by supporting Black-owned businesses, according to a May 2021 poll conducted by Branded Research. Any product or service you need can be found and purchased through a Black-owned business. Here is a list of businesses to support.
3. Listen to Black artists
Music brings good vibes to any setting—plus June is also Black Music Month! Whatever genre you enjoy, put together a playlist highlighting your favorite artists. And if you’re ready to expand your musical taste, Spotify has plenty of playlists like Black Lives Matter and The Black Power Mixtape that highlight past and present artists.
4. Read literature by Black authors & poets
Whether you want to brush up on your history or dive into a new world, pick up a book written by a Black author. Books by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Ralph Ellison are just a few iconic Black authors and poets. From fun picture books (like The ABCs of Black History) to YA novels (like The Hate U Give) there’s a book out there for the whole family. Don’t want to buy a book? Check out this free Google Drive that contains canonical eBooks about the Black American experience.
At LiveVox, we believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that together, we can make a difference. We hope that you found these resources helpful and that they inspired you to learn.