The Biden administration adds weight to the fight against racism by observing the day most close to the African-American community.
- Senate passes a unanimous resolution to mark Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
- The brutal murder of George Floyd provides the biggest impetus to the long-pending decision.
- American corporations prepare to mark June 19 as an official paid leave for employees.
The United States is observing a new federal holiday, the one that had waited to see the dawn of acceptance for more than a century now. The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution certifying the long-pending status of Juneteenth as a federal holiday for the nation. President Biden immediately signed the bill into law the next, certifying ascertaining the road towards the fight against racism.
With effect from today, the country will commemorate June 19 for the emancipation of the slavery of African-Americans.
The swift impetus in implementing the legislation was the result of massive BLM protests in the U.S. after the murder of George Floyd last year. The Democratic ruled Congress and White House is another reason for the commemoration of Juneteenth that is largely being celebrated in different parts of the nation.
The torchbearers of the efforts to make Juneteenth the 12th federal holiday were Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, and Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
The History Of Juneteenth
Major General Gordon Granger made history in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, after he announced the end of slavery in the state. The announcement came in accordance with the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln.
While the entire U.S. is just beginning to observe Juneteenth as the federal holiday, the day has been a state holiday since 1980 in Texas. Most of the southern states too followed the league in the past few decades except South Dakota. However, the ritual of the paid holiday was still missing.
The nationwide acceptance of the historical and federal significance of the event will now establish Juneteenth as a paid holiday, everywhere.
The day is also sometimes called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
American corporations have already begun preparing for the paid holidays starting next year.
Dorothy Brown, an Emory University law professor and former Drexel Burnham Lambert investment banker said in a statement, while banks making Juneteenth a holiday is key “from a symbolic perspective, it is an important reminder that much work needs to be done in the 21st century to make sure that all the vestiges of slavery are eradicated in our lifetime.
“Do they promote diverse employees? Do they put diverse employees on the biggest deals?”
While a large number of organizations have only accepted Juneteenth as a federal holiday after the legislations was passed by the Senate, many American corporations already observed the day on June 19.
Nike, Twitter, N.F.L., Best Buy, Square, and Target started recognizing Juneteenth as a paid-off last year after the breakout of the Black Lives Matter movement.