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Oakland A’s host ‘A Conversation About Race’ on Juneteenth

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A’s executive Taj Tashombe talks with player Tony Kemp

Cleveland Indians v Oakland Athletics
Tony Kemp
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Today is Juneteenth, an American holiday that commemorates the freeing of slaves in Galveston, Texas. On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed the slaves, further federal orders were issued in an area where compliance and enforcement of the proclamation had lagged behind. To learn more about Juneteenth, click here or on Vox.com’s article here.

The topic of systemic racism against Black Americans has been especially prevalent in the national conversation the last few weeks, after the killing of George Floyd by police officers sparked protests across the country. With the combination of that backdrop amid this important holiday, the Oakland A’s hosted a constructive conversation on Instagram Live on Friday.

“A Conversation About Race: Reflection and Action” features a talk between two Black members of the A’s organization — executive Taj Tashombe, and player Tony Kemp.

Tashombe is the team’s Vice President of Government Affairs and has served as a key member of the new ballpark project, and you can learn more about him here, here, and here. Kemp hasn’t actually played a regular season game in an A’s uniform yet due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the second baseman has stepped up as a vocal leader while the sport has been shut down. In particular, Kemp recently launched a movement called the +1 Effect, aiming to start respectful dialogue about race on an individual level; learn more about the +1 Effect here and how you can help be the change.

The full 25-minute conversation is embedded below.