Support grows for Juneteenth

Canadian Vogue

As the nation continues to rally behind the Black Lives Matter movement, the push for celebrating Juneteenth as an official holiday has been growing 一 garnering support from government officials and prominent corporations.

Juneteenth — which gets its name from combining “June” and “19th” — is a widely recognized holiday that commemorates the freeing of the last slaves living in Galveston, Texas, a part of the Confederate South, on June 19, 1865. They received word they were free more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

This year the holiday has received more attention than usual, as the flood of recent protests across the United States has called for the recognition and appreciation of Black lives. As Steve Williams, president of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, told USA Today, “Juneteenth is a unifying holiday. It is the completion of the celebration of freedom in America.”

Recently the proposed federal holiday made headlines after President Trump received backlash for planning a presidential rally on the very same day, in Tulsa, Okla. — a particularly alarming detail, as Tulsa is known for what has been called "the single worst incident of racial violence in American history,” the Black Wall Street Massacre. On Friday, Trump tweeted that he would reschedule his event “out of respect.”