In 2005, Kentucky officially became one of the now 47 states to recognize Juneteenth as an American holiday. Celebrated annually on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the end of the civil war, Juneteenth marked the declaration of freedom for the last Black people enslaved in our country.
155 years after General Granger read the orders, our community is facing the harsh realities of systemic racism, the outcomes of which are holding an entire part of our community back from achieving their full potential. The Greater Louisville Project collects data for the Metro Louisville area to weigh our progress against that of our peer cities. Included in this data are measurements of various racial outcomes.
Juneteenth is a time for coming together to celebrate Black culture and community connections. One measure of those connections is the number of social associations we have as a community. These social networks enable residents to be resilient during difficult times. Social associations can help those in poverty find solutions for the problems they face obtaining transportation, child care, or housing. They can also help to improve self-esteem, provide hope, and energize the community. Louisville currently ranks 14th out of our 17 peer cities for our number of social associations.
Fortunately, Louisville is home to many organizations that allow us to come together, learn from our past, engage in discussion for our future, and share the human experience.
“Spaces like this museum show the importance of coming together,” said Roots 101 African American Museum Founder and CEO Lamont Collins. “Our best moments in history are when we came together. The museum teaches all of us, all races, to become better ancestors for future generations.”
While current data on the number of social associations in Louisville in unavailable, during this week of Juneteenth, the GLP is sharing a list of long-standing and new organizations that build and support social associations among the Black community of Louisville:
To learn more about Louisville’s statistical progress, visit our website, follow the Greater Louisville Project on social media, and join our making list. Together we will continue to catalyze positive change for Louisville.