By Grace T., SJPJC Volunteer
On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army arrived to Texas to inform the people that the Civil War had ended and slavery was now abolished. However, this information was relayed to enslaved people two years after the Emancipation Proclamation had actually been passed, exemplifying the delayed justice this country continues to show.
As of June 15th, 2021, the Senate has passed the bill to make Juneteenth a national holiday. If the House of Representatives expresses support, the bill will be handed off to President Joe Biden which would most likely be signed into a law.
It is of paramount importance that Juneteenth is recognized as a national holiday because it celebrates the liberation of the enslaved in the United States. This action would be a slight step towards reparations for Black people as we continue to fight for equity and freedom for all. Observing Juneteenth as a national holiday would act as an opportunity to honor the history of Black people as well as celebrate Black culture.
The San Jose Peace and Justice Center supports observing Juneteenth as a national holiday. If you have never heard of Juneteenth, we urge you to educate yourself and spread awareness on the significance of this holiday. Call your representatives and post on social media to encourage others to take action as well. Take time to lift up Black voices, admire Black art, shop at Black-owned businesses, and listen to and learn from the experiences of Black people in this country.