One hundred fifty-five years ago today, enslaved Black Americans in Texas finally learned from a Union Army general that slavery had been abolished; it had taken over two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse for word to reach them. Juneteenth is traditionally a day to celebrate freedom and Black history and culture. But this year, we are in mourning for the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and many others.
We at Khan Academy stand firmly in solidarity with the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight against racism.
Our mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy exists to help all learners, but most especially students without access to the educational resources they need to achieve their full potential. We have shared and will continue to share resources about the history and experiences of Black people so we can help educate ourselves and our community and drive real change.
We are committed to doing the work to learn and grow as an organization so we can better serve the students who need us most.
We see this Juneteenth as an opportunity to reflect both on where we’ve come from and how much further we as a society must go to end systemic racism. We have declared Juneteenth as a permanent Khan Academy company holiday to honor Black history. The fight against injustice, inequality, and police brutality faced by the Black community is far from over, and we must take action together. As a first step, today, we encourage you to learn more about Black history and culture, including why Juneteenth is such an important day in US history.