A Message From Firm Leadership: Acknowledging Juneteenth

June 19, 2020 – Press Releases

Today marks the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth reverberates across our nation in a profoundly different way this year.

On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, proclaiming the end of the Civil War and the freedom of slaves. Now emancipated, they looked to a future filled with hope, promise and many unknowns. What they found were new challenges, as the systemic racial oppression that created slavery would find other outlets of expression, placing invisible rather than literal chains onto their lives.

The time is now for us to work to break those invisible chains. As a country and as individuals, we must not only acknowledge and address the systemic racial oppression that is interwoven in our nation’s past, but also work to end this painful reality that continues to exist today for Black people in the United States and around the world.

The fight against this oppression and desire to dismantle an unjust system is at the core of the protests in response to the murder of George Floyd and many other Black individuals. In the coming weeks, Fox Rothschild will be introducing a comprehensive response to address systemic racial oppression.

Juneteenth is a day of reflection to acknowledge and appreciate the African American experience in both the past and present tense. As a firm, we will be exploring how Juneteenth can be recognized in the years ahead as a day to engage lawyers and staff in community service opportunities that benefit the Black communities of this country and in the cities and towns where we live and work. The day should serve, symbolically and in reality, as a reference point from which we can not only measure how far we have come in this country from that historic day in 1865, but also how far we have to travel ahead together to truly make a better society for all.