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Ahead of the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, the holiday marking the abolition of slavery in the United States, Lauren Young and Arlene Washington of Reuters spoke with Keisha N. Blain, an associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh and president of the African American Intellectual History Society, as part of our #AskReuters Twitter chat series.
Arlene Washington: Can you talk about the Black women activists who paved the way for this moment in time?
KB: I think Black women have always been at the forefront of social and political movements in the U.S. and across the globe.
KB: Juneteenth represents the day (June 19, 1865) that enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free.
KB: It’s encouraging to see so many people – of all races and backgrounds – standing in support with Black people at this moment.