Over the last year, our society has learned a lot about the value of humanity and supporting one another. With those significant lessons in mind, we at ASEA commemorate Juneteenth and hope that it serves as a reminder to honor our great nation’s beautiful and diverse culture.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Heralded as a day of celebration of the long journey towards freedom for Black people, it stands as a beacon of joy for many Americans.

The Story Behind the Jubilee

Although President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation outlawing slavery in September of 1862, it wasn’t until two and a half years later that all people were freed from institutional slavery. Following the proclamation, slave owners in neighboring states had migrated west to Texas to escape enforcement of the proclamation, which meant that more than 250,000 enslaved peoples were still living without freedom.

On June 19, 1865, new Union Army general Gordan Granger brought the standard of freedom to those still enslaved when he established the Union army’s authority over Texas. General Granger subsequently established the basis of a yearly jubilee from that point forward.

Why Juneteenth is Significant

The reactions of enslaved people to the Juneteenth announcement ranged from celebration to fear, as so many of them had endured countless tragedies under their enslavement, had nowhere else to go, and were looking ahead to the challenges of establishing a future based on a new, unknown status for the Black community. Mobs were still inflicting violence and threatening their lives, but despite these extreme conditions, the people began to migrate to the freed North.

Families and descendants of former slaves make the journey back to Galveston, Texas, every year to spend time with friends and family, honor their ancestors, and share their joy in the American dream.

Our Beautiful Human Family

The ASEA family continues to grow worldwide, and our business associates make up a diverse, beautiful people. We are grateful and proud to honor them, learn and grow together, and collectively take on the challenges of humanity. The last year has shown us that when we work towards a better world and be ever mindful of our shared humanity, we can progress to a safer, more loving, and inclusive world for all.