Recognize the End of Slavery With a National Holiday

Target: Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Goal: Establish a federal holiday to commemorate the day the last slave was freed.

Juneteenth is the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, the last slaves in Galveston, Texas found out that the war was over and they were free. This news came two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When the slaves of Galveston heard the news, they rejoiced and began the challenging and unprecedented task of creating spaces for African-Americans to live freely.

Since 1865, Juneteenth has lived on as a celebration of freedom and of overcoming adversity for many people. Juneteenth is widely celebrated throughout the United States, especially in Texas. Many equate Juneteenth’s importance to that of Independence Day but for many others, Juneteenth is a new or foreign concept. 

For many years, celebrations around Juneteenth were actively discouraged and took place in rural areas where they wouldn’t be disturbed. As African Americans were able to become landowners, they were able to cultivate spaces for these celebrations to grow and flourish. 

Juneteenth is now a state holiday in Texas, but for many around the country, it is still a relatively unknown celebration. The American school system has historically done little to further education around Black liberation and Black joy. But in recent years that has started to change. 

Juneteenth has begun to catch more national attention as activist groups continually strive to further educate the American populace on the parts of history that have been forgotten or buried by our whitewashed education system. 

It is time to go a step further by making Juneteenth a national holiday. Juneteenth is a day to celebrate Black excellence, Black perseverance, and the true beginning of freedom and independence for all. Please sign this petition demanding that Juneteenth be recognized as a federal holiday across all 50 states. 

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

Juneteenth is the celebration of the day when the last slaves in Texas finally found out they were free. In other words, it is the day that the last American was finally freed from slavery. That is a monumental thing – a day of true independence and freedom. And yet, many people throughout the United States know little about this holiday. 

It is time for that to change. In order to change the biased and frankly racist historical narrative that we have been taught, we must make changes towards a future based on equality, equity, and justice. Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday, will not cure the inequity in our society, but it is a crucial step in bringing attention to the historical struggles and celebrations of the African-American community. It is time to take action. Make Juneteenth a Federal holiday immediately.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mrs. Charles Stephenson




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One Comment

  1. Jose Espino says:

    What, another one?

    Juneteenth (a portmanteau of June and nineteenth) – also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day, and Emancipation Day – is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States.

    Also called: Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Libera…
    Observed by: Americans (especially African A…
    Significance: Emancipation of remaining ensla…
    Date: June 19

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