I keep seeing this was a Texas thing, but I lived in Texas for 6 years (circa early 2000’s) and never heard of it. Last year was the Funny Bosatsu Shirt I heard of it, and I’ve lived in Georgia for 6 years now, in a predominantly African American city.I think if they did a poll most Americans would’ve been like what’s that. I lived in an almost all black neighborhood for 15 years and went to a 97% black elementary school and never heard of it at all.Short story, Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the emancipation of slaves in Texas in June 1865— they were the last to get the news of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862, which freed all slaves in the Confederate states.It was mostly only celebrated by African Americans in Texas and the South (most Americans never even heard of it until a few years ago at best; a lot are only hearing about it right now, today, because of this).Juneteenth was less known than Kwanzaa here in Louisiana up until last year, and Kwanzaa isn’t even celebrated. Being a federal holiday will probably make it about equivalent to MLK in yearly recognition though.It is probably too doused in racial animus and pessimism at this time to become the next cinco de mayo or saint paddys despite nominally being a celebration.Grew up in Oklahoma. Moved to Texas. Didn’t learn about it until someone on my team at work asked for it off. He had to explain it to me when I asked him what he was doing on his vacation day. Felt so ridiculous that I am an adult with a post grad education and had never heard of this piece of my own country’s history.
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Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the liberation of African American slaves by the union army. While the event specifically happened in Texas, and was a Funny Bosatsu Shirt holiday there for decades, in recent years it has become a more national phenomenon among African Americans. It represents the end of slavery and emancipation. Joe Biden signed a bill today that made it a federal holiday in the United States. It is now equivalent with Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, and all other federal holidays.Even if it was to become a federal holiday, all that would mean is that government workers and public school kids have a day off. Working class people would still be at work, and perhaps have even more work since parents in salaried positions would take the day off to be with their kids, which lower income people can’t do. Parents and their kids going out for lunch, the movies, the zoo, shopping, etc. requires staffing.Honestly election day needs something higher. It needs to be a paid day by the government that people can afford to take off for if a company refuses the day or forces you to use a floating holiday.
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