Education & Unity: Making "Juneteenth" a Federal Holiday

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It’s time for Juneteenth to be recognized as a national holiday.

Change needs to come and change needs a starting point. It’s a state holiday in 47 of the 50 states right now, but it’s still not a nationally recognized one—even though it’s been pushed for in the past. From what I’ve read, it needs to pass through Congress. 

Tweets and posts are fine. Here’s something a little more real.

We’re less than 10 days away. 

Now, it wouldn’t CHANGE anything—the problems and issues aren’t magically fixed, but a symbol from the “system” and “institution” that they understand, empathize and will recognize and celebrate this holiday could help progress us towards REAL change.

The long term gains with education (what’s happening around us today, the history of Juneteenth and what it represents, and also civil rights history), and then the accountability by officially putting this date on the calendar and the dialogue that’d surround it every year by declaring it a national holiday could be another positive step forward. It’s just about stacking those together. 

A background of Juneteenth for those who aren’t familiar …

Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation (1863), the enslaved throughout Texas hadn’t yet been officially informed that Lincoln had decreed they were no longer someone’s property. They were informed on June 19, 1865, and that’s the date the newly freed people of Texas used to commemorate their freedom.

Many then left Texas and the tradition spread throughout the country.

But this celebration and tradition, which spans 154 years, is obviously a symbol of freedom in Black history … but it’s also the history of OUR country … sad and uncomfortable as it is for some.

We can’t hide from it—sweep it under the rug or simply say “that’s in the past.” We have no problem recognizing the other holiday two weeks later.

This is a defining moment in our history, and recognizing that with this change in making it a federal holiday is a symbolic moment we can use to move our country forward from all that’s happening right now—along with the dozens of other positive steps happening across the country. 

It’d be another symbol of all of us coming together and a reminder of what took place here each year. All Lives Matter? Prove it. Here’s a step in that direction.

And today, while we’re all technically free, there’s no doubt that the playing field isn’t even and there are inequalities and injustices all around us. That’s why we’re here in this place—despite all the attempts to deflect and change the conversation of what’s going on around the country right now.

We’re at a point in our country now where things are happening, times are changing and recognizing Juneteenth (June 19) as a national holiday is another positive step forward and one that’s long overdue. 

If you agree, spread the word.