The Hard Numbers Behind Juneteenth in a Racist America

Nicole Phillip

Some of the most glaring disparities in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in America are spelled out in detail the United States often seems unable to countenance.

Updated Jun. 19, 2020 5:07AM ET / Published Jun. 19, 2020 4:28AM ET 

Friday marks Juneteenth, a commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States and specifically word of emancipation reaching enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. But Juneteenth in 2020 comes amid national protests over police killings of people of color and rage over institutionalized racism at large corporations, in pop culture, in the government—in every facet of life. It also comes in the thick of a pandemic that has preyed on people of color at a disproportionate rate, reflecting and retrenching structural inequality in a society that has often been far from willing to confront its ugliest prejudices toward Black people.

Below, some of the most glaring disparities in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in America are spelled out in detail the United States often seems unable to countenance.

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