President Joe Biden put into power Juneteenth as an official holiday and citizens celebrate in 2021 like no other time.
Cobb County Branch of the NAACP’s 18th Juneteenth Celebration, included live music and entertainment, vendors, face painting, health screenings and more. The addition of the day becoming a holiday has made some very proud to be recognized for the work they have done through the years to make the celebration a special occasion.
“Our federal holidays are purposely few in number and recognize the most important milestones,” Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, tells Kevin Freking of the Associated Press (AP). “I cannot think of a more important milestone to commemorate than the end of slavery in the United States.”
Celebrities and people all over social media also took time to reminisce on Juneteenth and how far the day has come into becoming recognized as an official holiday in the United States. President Joe Biden signed the bill on June 17, 2021, making Juneteenth the eleventh American federal holiday and the first to obtain legal observance as a federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated in 1983.
Juneteenth derives its name from June 19, 1865—the day that U.S. General Gordon Granger informed the enslaved individuals of Galveston, Texas, that they were officially free. “Although there were enslavers who were aware of the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation, it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, that it was actually enforced [by] the Union Army,” writes Mary Elliott, curator of American slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in a blog post. “… It took the creation of the Emancipation Proclamation, the end of the Civil War, and the passage of the 13th Amendment to finally end slavery throughout the nation.”
Check out the social media reaction to the special day below.
Here’s to celebrating #Juneteenth with the swag and soul of Ms. Opal Lee. 🙌🏿💖 We owe deep respect to her unwavering commitment that is responsible for the Senate passing a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Join me in thanking @Opalsw2dc for her inspiring accomplishment. pic.twitter.com/HEFT1tYnU2
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) June 19, 2021
Happy #Juneteenth everyone! We’ve come so far — but we know we still have a long way to go. Please drop your Black-owned business under this thread. Would love to highlight a few today. 👏🏽
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) June 19, 2021
— Seattle Steelheads (@Mariners) June 19, 2021
— Jamar Chaney (@Jamar51Chaney) June 19, 2021
— Vickie Patton (@_VickiePatton) June 19, 2021
While #Juneteenth was recently declared a holiday in the 🇺🇲, in 🇧🇿 we also have a June date with historical significance (details 👇). Additionally, on 1 August 2021, #EmancipationDay will be commemorated as a public holiday in 🇧🇿 for the very 1st time. 🧐 #BelizeanTwitter https://t.co/kE25006D2y
— 🇧🇿 Belize GEO 🛰️ (@BzGEO) June 19, 2021