Today, we celebrate Juneteenth and remember that freedom is not always given, but fought for and earned.
Juneteenth marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865, the day when all enslaved people in the United States finally became free. The Emancipation Proclamation, which changed the legal status of all enslaved people in the United States to free, was first issued in 1862. Yet, it took over two years for all of the enslaved people in America to become rightfully emancipated. On June 19th of 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas and ensure that all enslaved people in America would be freed.
African American communities have celebrated Juneteenth for over 150 years, but the holiday was largely ignored by those outside the community for over a hundred years. It wasn’t until 1980 that Texas became the first state to designate Juneteenth as a holiday. In the 1990s, Florida, Oklahoma, and Minnesota joined Texas to recognize Juneteenth as a day of observance, and 24 states in total have now recognized Juneteenth as a public holiday. Last year, Juneteenth was finally recognized as a holiday by the federal government, marking a major milestone in honoring Black history in America.
Juneteenth is a time to commemorate Black liberation and celebrate the many accomplishments of Black Americans. It’s been that way since the first Juneteenth celebration in 1866, when newly freed Black people celebrated by singing, reading spirituals, and reflecting on their progress.
At Frank White, we take every opportunity to cultivate art and culture that continues to free us all. A core part of our mission as purpose-driven health, wellness, and performance company is to create premium products and experiences that celebrate and advance Black culture. This Juneteenth, we’re taking a moment to reflect on some of the ways we’ve worked to cultivate Black excellence in technology and fashion.
Celebrating Black Excellence in Fashion
Frank White is always working to honor and preserve the legacy of our brand’s namesake, Christopher “The Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace, in our fashion collections. We’re proud to be connected to an icon of Black culture and are deeply committed to making sure we keep his legacy of creativity and excellence alive.
A notable recent release was our capsule collection with Mitchell & Ness. We were thrilled to partner with this legendary sportswear company, whose investors include Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Maverick Carter, and Lil Baby. Collaborating with this renowned brand allowed us to share the legacy of our founder and our “Be Noble” code, prominently featured in the collection, with a wider audience.