A wonderful thing happened this week.
On Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 the U.S. Senate passed a bill to make Juneteenth a Federal Holiday. It made its way to the House's steps and was overwhelming voted in-favor of recognition. Now, we move forward with June 19th being celebrated Nationwide.
Throughout the years, and still heard today, Juneteenth is recognized by many titles: Freedom Day - Jubilee Day - Liberation Day and Emancipation Day. Though called by many names, this day commemorates the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865, announcement of U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger's General Order No. 3, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas - the last state to hear and adhere to President Abraham Lincoln's Law set 2 and half years prior.
But, what does it mean today?
As we look through history, the emancipation of slavery may have removed the forced workmanship of an entire people, but it did not remove the injustices we still see today. This now Federal Holiday reminds us we stand together when change is needed. We have a right to celebrate our diversities, no matter how they make us different. Our differences help us build, create and explore collectively. And, it is our collective voice which can turn bias and premature judgements.
Everyone should be given the opportunity to be who they are without preemptive perception. When it comes to perceptions, our own Vice President of People, Cassandra Spencer sets the tough, but true stage:
Along with Juneteenth, June plays host to PRIDE Month: a 30-day celebration commemorating the 1969 Stonewall Riots, and further LGBTQ+ movements throughout the 20th Century. More demographics fighting for their right to not be persecuted because of their demographic.
Do you have a story to tell? Chime In, and let us know. We want to hear from you because your experiences matter.