June 19th is Juneteenth, commemorating the legal end to slavery in the United States. Juneteenth has increased in prominence as more people gain a greater understanding of the past and present systemic racism against Black people and other peoples of colour. Today, Juneteenth celebrates Black history, culture and progress, and the United States Senate recently voted unanimously to make Juneteenth a federal holiday in the U.S.
Locally, Black History Manitoba has been celebrating and promoting Manitoban and Canadian Black history for more than 40 years. BeCause Radio spoke with Nadia Thompson, Chair of Black History Manitoba, to learn more about the history of the organization, Black History Manitoba’s current and future activities, and the importance of recognizing Juneteenth and the history of Black communities in Canada.