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Nike will now recognize Juneteenth (June 19), a day commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., as a holiday and pay workers for the day off, according to an internal memo obtained by Newsweek. CEO John Donahoe stated in the document that the holiday is an “important opportunity to better commemorate and celebrate Black history and culture.”
More from the Nike memo:
“For more than 40 years, our brand has celebrated incredible Black athletes and inspired millions of people all over the world by amplifying their excellence,” he said. “When we say that Black Lives Matter, it applies to the world outside of Nike and, importantly, it applies to our Black teammates within Nike. Simply put, we need to hold ourselves to a high standard given the heritage of our company and our brand.”
Twitter and Square also announced this week they’ll treat Juneteenth as a holiday for their employees. On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 as follows, ending slavery in Texas and in the United States.
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.
— jack (@jack) June 9, 2020