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This Juneteenth, Celebrate Black Resilience .

COAL Board of Directors

"The time to work seriously and collectively, to improve the state of our Community, is upon us..."
Let's Get to Work
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a keynote address at an Independence Day celebration and asked,
" What to the Slave is the Fourth of July ?"
- Chairman Hank Meyer
Happy Juneteenth!

I’d like to share why it’s vitally important to honor our ancestral fight for Black freedom. 
In your grade school classes, you were likely taught that enslaved Black people were granted freedom when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. 1  Unfortunately, we were spoon-fed an oversimplified revisionist history.

The truth is, President Lincoln intended to preserve the Union rather than abolish slavery in its entirety. 2  The Emancipation Proclamation states "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." 3  What this truly means is that slavery was fully intact among southern states and the promise of slavery abolition was dependent on a Civil War victory, which occurred in April 1865. 

Time and time again, the promise of our ancestors’ freedom has been delayed, contingent, and deprioritized. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865, when 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas that emancipation became a truer reality. There, the army announced that over 250,000 Black enslaved people were granted freedom via executive decree. 4  

Juneteenth commemorates the day when the last enslaved Black people in Texas were finally granted freedom according to law. Although slavery legally ended, uninhibited freedom still has not become a reality for all Black people in the United States. Our ancestors were taunted and lynched profusely by white supremacist individuals and organizations like the KKK during the Reconstruction era. Then Jim Crow laws turned Black people into second-class citizens through enforced racial segregation until 1965 with the passing of the Voting Rights Act. And today, we are experiencing police brutality, redlining, voter suppression, and mass incarceration simultaneously.

I cannot promise that voting will immediately solve inequities Black people experience every day in this country. But it is one of the best ways we can use our voices to elect leaders that are accountable to Black communities and understand that we need change now.

We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams. Let’s take that dream even further and envision a world where all Black lives not only matter, but are cherished and protected equally.  

 Until justice is real, 
Jenni, Drew, Charles, Cristel, Tammi, Alex, Scotty, Daniel and the Color Of Change PAC team

COAL asks its Members, Partners, and COAL Community to support the following Color of Change ask;


When all of our ancestors that were “enslaved” became free! I’m most proud because we come from a people that are we owe it to our ancestors to rewrite the truth about our rich and royal history!

Denise Scott-Goring
Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, BLM co-founder and other Black leaders on what Juneteenth 2020 means
Black leaders explain what Juneteenth means to them amid protests against police brutality.
Editors, USA TODAYUpdated 1:34 p.m. CDT June 19, 2020 ARTICLE
What We Believe
The Coalition of African American Leaders believes that it is important to examine the critical issues confronting the African American community where injustice, inequality and the absence of access and opportunity continue to prevail, thereby negatively impacting us as a people. COAL is an assemblage that advocates and organizes for appropriate and responsible public policy change, system behavior change and equality of opportunity. We aim to achieve for all of our people the fullness of the life experience without any form of racism or exclusion as a deterrent. We believe we must prepare ourselves for the opportunity of this full participation, thereby achieving the necessary education and training to participate.