Today, Vox and Capital B, a local-national nonprofit news organization centering Black voices, announced a new editorial initiative examining the history, significance, and impact of Juneteenth. The effort highlights and explores how all Americans ought to observe the historical celebration, which marks the day in 1865 when a group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, finally learned that they were free from the institution of slavery, almost two-and-a-half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The effort will illuminate a central question: What does it mean to celebrate the end of slavery — and what truths about Black freedom does it expose? As we approach the first anniversary of the creation of the federal holiday, Vox and Capital B explore how Juneteenth can serve as a moment for reflection, reckoning, and a celebration of freedom.
“Capital B and Vox are aligned in our missions to provide context about the issues that matter most to our audiences, and it made perfect sense to come together for a Juneteenth partnership. Joining our respective editorial strengths to add a unique depth and purpose to this coverage,” said Lauren Williams, CEO, and co-founder of Capital B.
“Exploring the big questions and providing clarity to the public is the central mission of Vox,” said Swati Sharma, editor-in-chief of Vox. “There is no better partner than Capital B, with their parallel commitment to serving the audience and to meditate on the significance, history, and importance of Juneteenth.”
Contributors to this package include Sean Collins on how Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of freedom, but a monument to America’s failures; Julia Craven on how Juneteenth merch is American consumerism at its most crass; Jewel Wicker on how three Black women couldn’t find a place where their families felt safe, so they bought a town; Fabiola Cineas on how there’s no freedom without reparations; Ian Millhiser on how democracy in America is a rigged game; and Kenya Hunter on the Juneteenth flag, explained.
The artwork accompanying these pieces is created by Detroit-based artist and illustrator KaCeyKal! who uses vivid colors, unique shapes, and abstract bodies to tell a story through print and painting.