COLUMBUS—State Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) today announced that President Biden has signed into law a bill making Juneteenth, or June 19, a federal holiday honoring the end of slavery.
Rep. Brent introduced a resolution in the 133rd General Assembly urging Congress to designate Juneteenth as a paid federal holiday.
“It is not time to rest or celebrate all our country has overcome now that President Biden is making Juneteenth a federal holiday,” said Rep. Brent. “There is still more to be done to eliminate systemic racism in our state and country, including funding schools fairly, affirming healthcare as a right not a privilege, reforming the criminal justice system, removing redlining, instituting a livable minimum wage, enhancing affordable housing, and most importantly, addressing racism as a public health crisis.
“As we celebrate Juneteenth this weekend and every year after as an official federal holiday, let’s commemorate and remember history, but also boldly move forward in making our country better for all of us.”
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the news of the end of slavery reached those in the southwestern states two months after the Confederacy surrendered and two and one-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. After being observed by African Americans in the southwest for more than 150 years, it will now officially be the 12th federal holiday.