Juneteenth Becomes an Official Holiday in New York State
Gov. Cuomo says ‘this new public holiday will serve as a day to recognize the achievements of the Black community’
June of 2020 was a particularly fraught time in America’s already fraught existence, which made this summer’s celebrations of Juneteenth — which commemorates the emancipation of Black people from chattel slavery — all the more significant. As Drew Costley wrote for Momentum:
This year’s celebration came after nearly a month of nationwide protests against police violence sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Before this year, Juneteenth was a holiday that wasn’t well known outside the Black community. But this year was different: A heightened awareness of racial justice and a desire to learn more about Black history coincided with the holiday and led to companies officially recognizing it as an annual holiday and calls from U.S. senators to make it a federal holiday.
On October 14, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation designating Juneteenth as an official public holiday in New York state.
According to Cuomo, “This new public holiday will serve as a day to recognize the achievements of the Black community, while also providing an important opportunity for self-reflection on the systemic injustices that our society still faces today.”
For more on Juneteenth, read this piece from ZORA: