Governor Cuomo announced today that Juneteenth, June 19, will officially be a state holiday beginning 2021.
Juneteenth marks the end of enslavement of people of African descent in the United States, which happened on June 19, 1865. On that date, the last group of enslaved people in Galveston, Texas were informed of their legal emancipation–two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Find out more about it here.
Back in June, the Governor had made Juneteenth a paid state holiday, and said he was working on legislation to make it an official state holiday for next year.
Well, that legislation has now come into fruition.
I just signed legislation declaring #Juneteenth an official holiday in NYS.
This new public holiday will serve as a day to celebrate freedom, recognize the achievements of the Black community & reflect on injustices that remain.
I'm incredibly proud to sign this into law.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 14, 2020
On Juneteenth of 2020, NYC Mayor de Blasio also said it would be an official city holiday.
“Starting next year, Juneteenth will be an official city holiday and an official NYC schools holiday,” the Mayor said at his daily press conference that day. “We will work with all the unions to work through the plan to give this day the importance and significance it deserves. Every city worker and every student will have an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of our history and the truth, and to think about the work that we have to do ahead,” he continued.
“Because one thing that is profoundly clear in the history of African people in this country is that through the pain and struggle came an extraordinary purposefulness and vision to see change and act on change…the movements led by African Americans have changed this country to its core and will continue to.”
He said that the action is just a beginning to acknowledge the holiday, but that “we still have a lot more to do.”
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