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The Seattle Mariners join our community in recognizing and celebrating Juneteenth, a 155-year old holiday commemorating the liberation of Black men, women, and children in the U.S. in 1865.

We celebrate, honor, and reflect on the gravity of Juneteenth. While we encourage celebration, we engage in thoughtful reflection and take this time as an opportunity to uplift Black voices by using our platform to advocate for and accelerate equitable outcomes for members of the Black community. The Seattle Mariners will remain relentless in ensuring our communities are places where everyone can thrive through a sustained commitment to dismantling systems of oppression.

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More on Juneteenth

The Mariners organization encourage continued learning and education on Juneteenth and the importance of celebrating its history.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln authored The Emancipation Proclamation, with input from Frederick Douglass. The Proclamation was intended to instantly "free" enslaved people only in the Confederate states. While the announcement of liberation was a historic event, the news was not relayed to enslaved peoples in the Texas island city, Galveston, and across the Gulf of Mexico.

Over two years later, Union General, Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas to deliver the news. On June 19th, 1865, the announcement of emancipation signaled a historical event when enslaved peoples residing in Galveston were finally notified of their liberation over two years after the news was shared in the former Confederate states and the rest of Texas.

On this day, formerly enslaved African descendants in Galveston celebrated their liberation. The date, "Juneteenth," became a day of jubilee, reflection, and celebration. For over a century, Juneteenth was celebrated in the Black community as a day of independence, liberation, and freedom. Despite significant struggle, lasting systems of oppression, and persistent racism, Juneteenth remained a holiday that was revered and celebrated in communities across the U.S.

In 1970, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday, however it was not until 1996, when Michigan's congresswoman, Barbara Rose Collins first introduced a bill that petitioned the U.S. government to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

In her statement declaring the need for a national holiday, Congresswoman Collins stated, "The dehumanizing conditions of slavery were unnecessarily prolonged for hundreds of thousands of Black men, women, and children because our American government failed to communicate the truth." Today, efforts to make Juneteenth a national holiday have stalled in Congress, signaling the need for a continual commitment to dismantle systems of oppression that still remain prevalent.

In 2021, Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee, officially declared Juneteenth a state holiday in Washington, making June 19th a paid holiday for state employees starting in 2022.

Black Voices in Baseball