What is Juneteenth? Learn More About Holiday Celebrating End of Slavery

What is Juneteenth? Learn More About Holiday Celebrating End of Slavery

The Los Angeles Lakers gave their players and staff Friday off to observe Juneteenth, encouraging them to "use the day to pause, further educate ourselves and reflect on both the history and the current state of race in our country", according to a statement from the team.

June 19 has since been regarded as a "day of Jubilee" and a day of independence for Black people in the United States.

Many joined in gatherings and events around the Las Vegas valley to celebrate Juneteenth.

Despite the fact that President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued more than two years earlier on January 1, 1863, a lack of Union soldiers in the rebel state of Texas made the order hard to enforce. "Proud to announce that beginning next year, Juneteenth will be an official city and school holiday", the mayor tweeted.

In the state, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker issued a proclamation honoring Juneteenth. However, Juneteenth is not a federal holiday.

Juneteenth is a state holiday in Texas. "Juneteenth is not just about freedom, but the fight of our ancestors, the determination, and the consideration that one day, their children, their children's children and their children's children's children would be free". Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have known as for their respective legislatures to make the day a state vacation.

Specifically, it commemorates Union army general Gordon Granger announcing federal orders in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, proclaiming that all people held as slaves in Texas were free.

The Juneteenth Flag, designed by Founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF) Ben Haith in 1997 along with Verlene Hines, Azim, and Eliot Design, was fine-tuned in 2000 by illustrator Lisa Jeanne Graf.

Thousands of people took to the street on Friday morning, rallying at city landmarks such as City Hall, Times Square and Brooklyn Bridge before marching along major avenues.

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