June: More cities, states and universities designate as an official holiday among nationwide rallies and celebrations

Protesters march towards the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington on Friday, June 19, 2020, to mark Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the day in 1865 that enslaved black people in Galveston, Texas, learned they had been freed from bondage, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Known as the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, June is not yet a US national holiday. While celebrated by Black Americans for more than 150 years, states, cities and universities across the country have generally begun to recognize the overlooked history as a deserving recognition.

President Bill de Blasio said on Friday that June will officially be a holiday in New York from the beginning of next year.

“We will work with all unions to work on the plan, to give the importance and appreciation it deserves today. Every city employee, every student will have the opportunity to think and think about the meaning of our history and reality,” said de Blasio.

The official city holiday assignment comes with the establishment of a new commission in New York that will work to understand the effects of structural and institutional racism and create a historical record of racial discrimination with emphasis on “housing, criminal justice, the environment, racism and public health,” a city press release. by.

“The movements led by African Americans have changed this country to the core and will continue. This is just the beginning of accepting this holiday, but we have more to do,” De Blasio said. Said.

In Washington DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser published a statement that recognized June 19 as “June 19” in the country’s capital, and this year’s celebrations were held as protests in all American states and around the world for 50 years as police brutality and African Americans. against systemic racism. “

The governors of Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia, Kansas, and Illinois were among the state leaders who issued official statements stating June 19th as “Juneteenth Freedom Day” or “Juneteenth Recognition Day”.

Washington Wizards players, Washington Mystics players and supporters take a walk to observe Juneteenth in Washington DC.
In Minnesota, where George Floyd’s murder of Minneapolis police officers has recently launched Black Lives Matter shows in Minnesota, the United States and the world, Governor Tim Walz said “June celebrates our country’s second Independence Day.”

“We must do our best to come together in our state to disrupt the structure of systemic racism for generations, so that everyone in Minnesota – Black, Native, Brown and White – can be safe and develop,” said Walz.

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In his official statement, Virginia Gov. “The history of Juneteenth is not just Black history – American history,” said Ralph Northam, saying that this day is a crucial moment in the American story that we should all remember. “

Many universities ended in June on Friday

An increasing number of colleges and universities across the country were closed in their nineteenth honor on Friday.

“All faculties and employees will be given full-time paid leave,” said Harvard President Lawrence Bacow in an email this week. “If you need to work to support the required operations that day, your efforts will be accepted with other paid permits.”

Announcements are considering removing sculptures, renaming buildings, and changing mascots as part of some universities’ call for greater change in the country’s systemic racism and injustice.

“As I said many times, Columbia University is not innocent of racism structures that affect America,” Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger said in an email on Wednesday. Said. “There is still much more to do.”

Other higher education institutions Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania While Georgetown and Drake announce that Juneteenth will continue to be considered a holiday each year, they honor Juneteenth as a “day of thinking.”

“As I face this challenge, I hope this day will be a moment for re-reflection and renewed commitment to racial justice work,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia.

Peaceful walks and meetings see calls for activism against racial inequality

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Rev. Al Sharpton said at a Juneteenth event held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that people should use both to celebrate and commemorate the independence of enslaved Black Americans.

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“It reminds us that it was about three years after the declaration of salvation was signed so that people in Texas even knew that slavery was over. And even after that we’ve been through Jim Crow for 100 years. Vote,” said Sharpton. “And now we are in an age when we are treated differently in an epidemic disease, even in differences in criminal justice and policing.”

People walk on the streets during a Juneteenth event organized by a Race Movement in Atlanta, Georgia.

In Chicago, Illinois Government Bill Pritzker and the US Sens Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth joined hundreds of people walking in the city center, surrounded by signs carrying photos of George Floyd.

Earlier Friday, Pritzker tweeted he said the state is working with its plenary session on “real criminal justice reform, a fundamentally redesigned version of policing, continuous investment in Black communities”.

In Washington, D.C., citizens gathered at the intersection of 14th Avenue and U Avenue for music performances, speeches, skipping competitions and more. Brian Todd, who left the incident at the CNN, can say that he is calling for a series of reforms, such as wage equality, equal access to food, and reallocation of police funds.

    People pray together during a Juneteenth event at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia.

Demonstrators in Los Angeles had heard that they were talking not only about the historical significance of June 19, but also that when the slaves in Texas were liberated in 1865, the Declaration of Independence was signed two and a half years ago. .

Speakers at the rally could hear him talking “about taking control of their community, having their community, and also … changing the relationship between the police and these neighborhoods,” said Stephanie Elam from CNN.

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CNN’s Elizabeth Stewart, Sheena Jones and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.

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