Parades, picnics and history were on Saturday to commemorate Juneteenth in the United States, a day that has become even more significant after Congress and President Joe Biden recognized the annual commemoration of the effective end of slavery as a federal holiday. .
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to black slaves in Texas two months after the Confederacy surrendered. It was about two and a half years after the Proclamation of Emancipation freed slaves in the Southern states, at least on paper.
Biden signed a bill Thursday that creates January’s National Independence Day.
Since June 19 fell on a Saturday, the government observed the holiday on Friday.
At least nine states had designated Juneteenth as the official paid state party, all but one – Texas – acting after Floyd, a man of color, was killed last year in Minneapolis.
In Galveston, Texas the birthplace of the holidays, the celebrations include the dedication of a 5,000-square-foot mural entitled Absolute Equality.
Opal Lee, 94, who was alongside Biden when he signed the project, returned to Fort Worth, Texas, to lead a 4 km (2.5 mile) walk symbolizing the two and a half years he spent there. it was necessary for the servants in Texas to know that they had been released.
The Sacramento black community has hosted the Juneteenth festival for 20 years, and this year it featured a parade, talent show, food fair, the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation and even a golf tournament.
“This is the first Juneteenth where it is recognized nationally and socially, by the masses and not just in the black community,” said organizer Gary Simon. “We’ve seen an uptick in non-black people coming here for the last few years, and I see the difference only in the conversations that are taking place today.”