Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19 that Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. In addition to being a celebration, Juneteenth also places an emphasis on remembering and teaching African-American heritage and history.
New York Red Bulls employees, staff and players will pause business operations for the day to reflect on recent events in our country that have shed light on systemic racism and inequality. This time will be used to continue to educate ourselves so we can expand our efforts, including future Juneteenth initiatives.
Resources & Reading for Juneteenth
READ: History of Juneteenth
READ: Teaching Juneteenth
WATCH: History of Juneteenth
CELEBRATE: Juneteenth Events in New York City
SHARE: Juneteenth via acespace
Children’s Books about Juneteenth:
- Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper
- Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison
- All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson
- Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford
Adult books about Juneteenth:
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- Envisioning Emancipation by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer
- Juneteenth by Charles Taylor
Text of New York Red Bulls General Manager Marc de Grandpré's Message to Staff
Some of you reached out and asked me, why now, Marc? Why haven’t we used our platforms to engage in these conversations in the past? Be it after Charlottesville, the Stockely acquittal of the murder of Anthony Lamar Smith in St. Louis back in 2017, Michael Brown in 2014, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, the MeToo movement, the anti-Semitic shootings in our backyard in Jersey City.
I promise you that it won’t ever happen again, and we will be proactive and responsible in our actions moving forward. We will not sit on the sidelines anymore. The best way I can lead here is to tell you I don’t know enough, and I don’t understand enough right now. There is one thing that I know, and that the leadership team is committed to do. And that’s that we’re going to take actions to make sure that our voice is heard.
We’re going to be locked arm-in-arm here, and we’re going to embark on this long, long, infinite trail. We’re going to do it thoughtfully, mindfully, with compassion, understanding, without judgement, with love, with a smile, with some tears I’m sure, and with the pure intent to do what is right.
This is not a one day effort, a one week effort, a one month effort or a one year effort, guys. This is where you all come in. If you so choose, I’m looking for all of you to be part of the solution, to drive learning, conversation, discourse, dialogue and debate to lead us on our new path of making a meaningful impact in this fight against racism and inequality. It will not be the responsibility of one department. It is our collective group effort that will define how we attack this fight. This is going to be an ultra-marathon guys, it’s not a sprint. This is going to be part of our DNA.
I will be your champion. I want to make sure that every single piece of this organization is engaged, and together we will build on an already powerful platform and work that we’ve accomplished to date. I see this guys, as the most important, defining moment in our club’s history. This is about doing what is right for all, standing shoulder to shoulder and driving meaningful change in this fight against racism and inequality.