Juneteenth is a new holiday for most Americans

Published 11:27 am Friday, June 16, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

For many Juneteenth is a new holiday. The day is June 19, and Elizabethton will celebrate the holiday with the closing of city offices on Monday, making it a paid holiday for city employees. Also, it is a state holiday.
A number of businesses are also celebrating the holiday by closing.
In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. Several others followed suit over the years. It officially became a federal holiday in 2021. This year, at least 28 states and the District of Columbia will legally recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday – meaning state government offices are closed and state workers have a paid day off.
Juneteenth honors the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. The name “Juneteenth” is a blend of two words: “June” and “nineteenth.” It’s believed to be the oldest African American holiday, with annual celebrations on June 19 in different parts of the country dating back to 1866.
Juneteenth is a day that holds immense significance in the history of the United States. It is a time to reflect on our past, honor the struggles endured by our ancestors, and acknowledge the progress we have made as a society.
As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, it is crucial that we embrace the true spirit of the occasion, fostering unity, understanding and continued progress towards a more equitable future.
Juneteenth originated on June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston with news that the Civil War had ended and the enslaved people were finally free.
This day served as a powerful symbol of hope, emancipation and the long-awaited realization of freedom for millions of African Americans.
However, we must also recognize that true equality was a journey yet to be fully realized.
While Juneteenth highlights the emancipation of slaves, it also serves as a reminder of the deep-rooted racial injustices that have persisted throughout our history. By acknowledging our past, we demonstrate our commitment to learning from it, and to rectifying the injustices that continue to plague our society.
Juneteenth is a celebration that transcends racial boundaries, providing an opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together in unity.
It is a time to foster conversations about racial equality and social justice, understanding that progress can only be achieved by acknowledging and addressing the systemic issues that persist in our society.
In 2023, it is crucial that we recognize the diversity within the African American community itself. Many have made great contributions to our country. They, too, have served in the Armed Forces of the United States and fought for freedom. Many black men have died in America’s wars and conflicts.
Juneteenth represents a shared history, but it also invites discussions about the diverse experiences and contributions of African Americans. By embracing this diversity, we deepen our understanding of each other and strengthen our collective fight against discrimination.
Juneteenth offers an occasion for education and empowerment. It is an opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with our children, our friends and our communities about the history and significance of this day.
By educating ourselves and others about the struggles and triumphs of the past, we equip ourselves with the knowledge needed to dismantle the remaining barriers to equality.
Moreover, Juneteenth serves as a catalyst for positive change. It urges us to reflect on the progress we have made and to envision a future where equality is truly universal.
This celebration empowers us to become active participants in shaping a society where everyone, regardless of race, can thrive and prosper.
Juneteenth is not another holiday. To Black Americans it represents freedom, but there is a lot of work to do. There are still disparities that persists for many Back Americans, such as education, healthcare, and criminal justice. But, they also persist for many poor white Americans and other nationalized citizens. There is much work to do in this country to bring equality to all.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox