Honoring the Significance of Juneteenth - Sender One Climbing

Written by Kadisha Aburub, Edited by Crystal Tan

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19th. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger recited federal orders announcing that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free.

So if you’re thinking, but WAIT…I thought the Emancipation Proclamation did this on January 1, 1863?!

Well, not entirely. Plantation masters decided when and how news was delivered (as news then, did not travel as quickly), so this news of the Emancipation Proclamation was delayed for very obvious reasons.

While many Black folks use this as a day to celebrate with friends, family, and community members, it can also be seen as a way for non-Black individuals to reflect on the impact it has had on our nation.

For example, let’s think about how we, as climbers and outdoor enthusiasts, have the privilege to explore and enjoy our State and National Parks. When the National Park Service was founded in 1916, Jim Crow laws had already been implemented. Did you know that the parks were not officially desegregated until 1945? However, local ordinances continued to prohibit Black people from entering many parks, despite desegregation. In 1952, only 12 out of 180 state parks in southern states allowed Black people to enter.

While it may be tempting to think, “That was a long time ago." In reality, it wasn't too long ago, and the legacy of institutional racism remains and continues to impact Black communities.

Let’s not forget the first all-Black team to summit Everest was in 2022. Only one year ago.

The good news is there are groups and organizations actively working to improve experiences for Black people outdoors.

Here are a couple of organizations to check out and support:

Black Girls Trekkin - Located locally in California, their mission is to "provide experiences that inspire Black women to pursue outdoors adventures with confidence, establish connections with one another, recreate on the land with care, and rekindle a deep-rooted cultural relationship with nature."

Blk Out Fest - A climbing festival held in Chattanooga, TN that centers and celebrates Black climbers.

We encourage you all to explore and connect with organizations and local Black climbers; to step outside what you know or think you know, and to listen, without judgment.

So if Juneteenth is a celebration for you, we hope that you celebrate in whichever way feels right. Be it rest, spending time with friends climbing outdoors, or taking the day off.

As for us here at Sender One, we will be featuring a Black vendor on the day of Juneteenth, Royal Gourmet Cookies! We are always looking for more Black vendors to support throughout the year, so if you or someone you know would like to be represented in our gym space to sell your art, jewelry, or goodies, please reach out to us!

Join our 2023 Juneteenth Celebration @ Sender One LAX!
Monday 6/19/2023, 7 PM – 9 PM

Presented by S1's Black Climbers Union and Black Girls Trekkin’, this meetup is a safe place that gives Black climbers the opportunity to unite and amplify each other’s voices in the climbing community. This meetup strives to encourage positivity, individuality, and acceptance amongst Black climbers from any background. All ages and experience levels are welcome. Minors must come with supervising adults.
$20 day passes when you RSVP in advance! Free for members to join.

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