Photo Credit: @cocoabutterbf via Twitter
All but four states now officially recognize Juneteenth, and yet still, despite the deep significance; it’s not a national holiday. What’s up with that?!
So basically by definition you can find out with a quick google search what Juneteenth it. Although wikipedia isn’t the best source according to them, “Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America.”
Currently, Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or “special day of observance” in every state but Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Back in 1979 Texas state legislator Al Edwards introduced a bill to make Juneteenth a state holiday and is one of many working to now give the day the real recognition it deserves. When Barack Obama was a state senator he co-sponsored legislation but unfortunately with no success. Checkout what he tweeted today below:
On Juneteenth, we celebrate our capacity to make real the promise of our founding, that thing inside each of us that says America is not yet finished, that compels all of us to fight for justice and equality until this country we love more closely aligns with our highest ideals. pic.twitter.com/2XAKRuRrbG
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 19, 2019
Advocates from the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation say that Juneteenth deserves the same recognition as Independence Day. “We may have gotten there in different ways and at different times, blacks and whites, but you can’t really celebrate freedom in America by just going with the Fourth of July,” Rev. Ronald V. Meyers explained. Ok so WHY hasn’t the government failed to recognize Juneteenth you ask? Simply put, just like we fail to recognize the true horrors of slavery in our History text books; if the government chose to acknowledge Juneteenth, they would then be responsible for paying the descendants of former slaves reparations and restitution.
If we want the Government to be held accountable and give the former slaves, their families and this very important day it’s rightful recognition, we have to take action. If you’re feeling really passioniate, you can follow in the foot steps of a 91-year-old Texas woman. Opal Lee walked from state to state in 2016 to draw attention to the cause she holds near and dear to her heart. Lee began walking from Texas, then to Colorado, then to Illinois and finally ended her walk on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. “Slaves didn’t free themselves,” the Forth Worth Texas native said. “There were abolitionists and people of all persuasions that worked untiringly to have slavery abolished.” She also added, “I just thought if a little, old lady in tennis shoes was out there walking, somebody would take notice.” And that they did. Although Juneteenth still has not reached national holiday status quite yet, there are many like Lee who won’t stop until it does. If you want to join the fight you can show your solidarity with the activists by signing the online petition HERE. Take a look at some other tweets from other celebrities celebrating today:
Juneteenth. know the truths they refuse to tell you. 🙏🏿
— DAWN (@DawnRichard) June 19, 2019
Wishing a Happy #Juneteenth to all of my brothers and sisters celebrating! As we celebrate freedom and the end of chattel slavery in America today, we are reminded that this country has never truly dealt with our past and our struggle for equality and justice continues. pic.twitter.com/YWGKqzbbV2
— COMMON (@common) June 19, 2019
Happy Juneteenth everybody! Let’s act like we free!!
— SiR (@inglewoodSiR) June 19, 2019
Remembering #Juneteenth goes beyond the historic importance of this day as a victory for human equality.
It’s also a reminder that we still have a long way to go in the fight to build a just society for people of color to live and thrive in safety, dignity, and justice.
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) June 19, 2019