Today is Juneteenth, which marks the day that slaves in Texas were told that the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed (2 years prior), that the Civil War was over, and that they were free. It’s a celebration of true independence that has taken place for generations among African Americans and other Black people in this country
Just a couple days ago, it was officially made a federal holiday, but what’s important is that Americans everywhere pause to reflect on this day and educate themselves on what Juneteenth is about. It’s a day to learn more about Black culture and to show support to the Black community. And in soccer, two coalitions that were founded last year are taking steps to commemorate the day while also raising money for Black-led efforts.
The Black Women’s Player Collective has a shirt on Breaking T that was designed in partnership with Black players on the USWNT and uses the collective’s motto: Elevate, Empower & Expose. A portion of proceeds from the shirt will benefit the BWPC as well as the TGI Justice Project.
The BWPC is also hoping for fans in several NWSL communities to celebrate the holiday by donating food to people in need:
Help is celebrate Juneteenth by sharing the gift of food! pic.twitter.com/4oVi2VhJmi— Black Women’s Player Collective (@BWP_Collective) June 16, 2021
The Black Players for Change, who also celebrates its one year anniversary today, collaborated with Major League Soccer on several initiatives around the holiday, including special namesets that will be worn by all players this weekend. The jerseys will then be auctioned off for charity.
.@mls and @BPCMLS collaborate on Juneteenth efforts to celebrate and educate, including special jersey designs and inspired gift drops to raise money. ⚽#JuneTeenth2021— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) June 17, 2021
by @clintonyates pic.twitter.com/vP0ZnSodFv
They’re also using the power of education to teach people what Juneteenth is all about and the story of how it came to pass.
Juneteenth marks the day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union army read federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 to notify the last remaining slaves that they were FREE. #juneteenth pic.twitter.com/kG1J7OBVvf— Black Players For Change (@BPCMLS) June 16, 2021
Today is a very important day for so many Americans. Many of them will be on the field as players today in Major League Soccer, the NWSL, the USL Championship, and USL League One. A great way to help will be to support the BWPC and BPC in promoting the education of the day and spreading awareness. You could also contribute to one of their funds or to support a black-owned business or charity in your community.
It’s a day of celebration, learning, and serving. Happy Juneteenth, everyone. Let’s make this first official federal holiday great.
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