Did you know that Juneteenth, also known as ‘Freedom Day’ for African-Americans in the United States, is still not recognized as a paid federal holiday? but yet, ‘Independence Day’ is. The irony.
On January 1st, 1863, former U.S President- Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves in America. It wasn’t until over two years later (June 19th, 1865) that the news reached a group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to enforce the order, freeing them.
After that, a new “relationship” was established. Former masters and slaves became the “employer” and the “hired labor”. Despite the freeing of slaves, we all know the struggles this country still face today with racism and injustices.
Recently, some states like New York and Virginia have announced that they’ll be making Juneteenth a paid holiday for state employees.
Several private companies like ‘Nike’ have also followed suit following the BLM movement and the recent ‘justice for George Floyd’ protests.
Juneteenth is usually celebrated with festivals, parades, food/cookouts, music, dancing and the reading of spirituals and prayer.
So, until congress officially recognizes Juneteenth, I am personally pledging to abstain from any type of labor every Juneteenth going forward.
Have a great weekend!