COLUMBUS — State Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) today introduced a concurrent resolution urging Congress to designate June 19th a paid federal holiday. This date is to be known as Juneteenth Independence day in recognition of June 19, 1865 when news of the end of slavery reached the southwestern states two months after the end of the American Civil War.
“This country was built off of the free labor of enslaved African Americans from the construction of the White House, to bridges and roads. As we prepare to observe Juneteenth this year, it is vital that people can properly celebrate America’s history,” Rep. Brent said. “This holiday has long been recognized by 45 states and the District of Columbia. It is time for the nation to collectively observe the significance of the emancipation of our enslaved ancestors.”
This resolution comes on the heels of civil unrest across the nation in support of racial equity and justice for African American communities. Federal acknowledgement of this notable date is one way to ensure minority communities can annually commemorate their history.