What is Juneteenth? Learn More About Holiday Celebrating End of Slavery


Ohio House introduces resolution to declare Juneteenth federal paid holiday

Many cities and companies have declared the day a paid holiday for employees.

"They're required viewing. We actually sent a link around to the Juneteenth episode to everyone at ABC Entertainment in advance of Friday's holiday". Since then, 45 other states and Washington D.C. have also commemorated or recognized the holiday.

The date marks the day in 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas, informing former slaves of their freedom provided by the order President Abraham Lincoln issued on January 1, 1863. But the institution of chattel slavery in the United States only came to an end in June 1865-two months after Confederate commander Robert E. Lee surrendered and a full two-and-a-half years after the original proclamation was signed.

As calls for racial justice and police reform continue, communities throughout the USA are gearing up to celebrate Juneteenth this Friday.

Juneteenth is not simply a day for celebrating the end of slavery in the United States, she adds, but for reflecting on the country's history of slavery.

"It's possible we may get a second wave and even beyond that", Romero said. But in the wake of protests of Floyd's killing this year and against a backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic that has disproportionately harmed Black communities, more Americans - especially white Americans - are becoming familiar with the holiday and commemorating it.

"After 155 years, it is truly an emotional moment to know that society is beginning to acknowledge black freedom struggles", he said.

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How do people celebrate Juneteenth Day?

In Nashville, Tennessee, about two dozen Black men, most wearing suits, quietly stood arm in arm Friday morning in front of the city's criminal courts.

A statue in Galveston, Texas, honors state lawmaker Al Edwards, who authored a bill that made the date an official state holiday.

"It's the freedom that we have, that's what Juneteenth is all about", Mack said.

A resolution to declare Juneteenth a paid federal holiday in OH was introduced to the House Thursday.

It's a notable shift, however, that many companies are declaring Juneteenth a holiday before the federal government does, said Heide Gardner, chief diversity and inclusion officer at advertising and marketing firm Interpublic Group.

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