Juneteenth was designated as a federal holiday during 2021 by the United States administration of President Joe Biden. This act of recognition came in the aftermath of an upsurge in mass demonstrations and electoral mobilizations in response to the rash of police and vigilante killings of African Americans during 2020-2021. The holiday had been recognized and celebrated within African American communities largely concentrated in Texas and other areas of the South for over a century. After the surrender of the Confederate military forces in early April 1865, the fate of slavery as an economic system was sealed. Nonetheless, then President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, with immediate effect beginning January 1, 1863.
By Jamelle Bouie for Slate. Officially, the Emancipation Proclamation freed “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State” where the residents were “in rebellion against the United States.” In practice, it applied only to those slaves who lived near Union lines, where they could make an easy escape or take advantage of the Northern advance. News of emancipation would move slowly, which would be compounded by the mass migration of slave owners, who fled their holdings in Louisiana and Mississippi—slaves in tow—following the Union victories at New Orleans in 1862 and Vicksburg in the spring and summer of 1863. Tens of thousands of slaves arrived in Texas, joining the hundreds of thousands in the interior of the state, where they were isolated from most fighting and any news of the war.
By Olivier Favier and Translated by Leslie Thatcher for Basta! - Grande-Synthe, in the north of France, is one of the very few French towns that welcome hundreds of migrants with dignity and respect. Despite 28 percent unemployment of its active population and a third of households living below the poverty line, Grande-Synthe is also a place where ambitious environmental and social policies are conducted. Mayor Damien Carême and his team support a popular university in the service of the town's residents, have created the first renewable energy stadium in France and are building an eco-neighborhood accessible to the poor.