Juneteenth, an annual holiday celebrated every June 19, marks the end of slavery in the United States. Also known as Freedom Day or Jubilee Day, Juneteenth is a special holiday celebration in 48 U.S. states, and even companies like Spotify, Twitter, and Lyft have recently added Juneteenth to their calendars as official holidays.
To commemorate this year’s celebration, Google dedicated a doodle on video on Friday, June 19 this year, on the 155th anniversary of the day that Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and read a federal order to abolish the institution of slavery in that state.
This year, the day has special meaning, in light of Black Lives Matter’s protests against racial injustice and police brutality, sparked by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks at the hands of the police. .
The video doodle Juneteenth starring LeVar Burton, known for his iconic role in the 1977 miniseries Roots, reading the first verse of James Weldon Johnson’s poem Lift Every Voice and Sing, often known as the Black National Anthem. The video begins with an animated depiction of General Order No. 3: “All slaves are free.”
This year, a handful of tech companies, including Twitter and Uber, declared Juneteenth a company holiday. Google did not do so, but it did encourage its employees to cancel the mandatory meetings.