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U.S. to mark Juneteenth

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 6/18/20, 06:37 pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced this week that their states would officially recognize the June 19 holiday marking the end of slavery. Portland, Ore., Mayor Ted Wheeler said Juneteenth will become a paid holiday for city workers. Already, 47 states and the District of Columbia recognize the day.

How are people celebrating? African Americans slaves first marked Juneteenth in Galveston, Texas, in 1865, when Union soldiers informed them the Civil War had ended and they were free. Today, celebrations often include parades, concerts, and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. This year, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, communities are planning additional protests. The Rev. Al Sharpton is set to speak at a two-day celebration in downtown Tulsa, Okla., and activists have scheduled a rally this weekend. Detroit has held events all week, including educational talks, art displays, and rallies, the Detroit Free Press reported. The NFL also planned to recognize it as a league holiday, according to an internal memo on Friday obtained by the Associated Press.

Dig deeper: Read Charissa Koh’s report in Compassion on how Christian leaders are working toward racial reconciliation.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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