Juneteenth Has Been Declared An Official Holiday In Pennsylvania

Juneteenth is now an official holiday in 40 states and Washington, D.C.

Photo credit:Nappy.co

| June 24 2019,

8:34 pm

Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania will sign legislation making Juneteenth an official holiday on Wednesday, June 19.  

According to Philadelphia Magazine, 40 other states have already made Juneteenth an official holiday.

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the date the last group of enslaved Africans were notified of their freedom.

Many people believe slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. On June 19, 1865, Union Soldiers stopped in Texas to notify enslaved African people that they were now free.

Historians say that it is highly likely the information was withheld on purpose. During this time, it is said that white slaveholders migrated from southern states such as Louisiana and Mississippi bringing roughly 150,000 enslaved African people with them.

This Wednesday is the 154th anniversary of Juneteenth. On this day, Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation that made Juneteenth an official holiday in the state of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia will be holding their first Juneteenth parade on Saturday. In addition, the city of Philadelphia will have a week's worth of celebrations. As reported previously on Blavity, part of the festivities include a ceremony, at which the city will rename a street after the legendary boxer, civil rights advocate and cultural icon, Muhammad Ali.

The Juneteenth celebrations don't stop in Philadelphia either. Throughout the day, influential figures and everyday people have taken to social media to educate and celebrate on this special day. Barack Obama tweeted about the importance of the holiday, and Whitman Institute Trustee Sonya Childress shared a heartfelt message about her grandmother who was formerly enslaved. Not to mention, Danny Glover and Ta-Nehisi Coates took to Capitol Hill to testify about reparations today.