Photo Credit: Askar Abayev
Oregon Acknowledges Juneteenth As Statewide Official Holiday
In early June, Oregon‘s senate unanimously decided to acknowledge the day of the Emancipation Proclamation or Juneteenth as an official statewide holiday starting next year. From June 19 going forward, Oregon residents can commemorate the liberation of African Americans in the United States by recognizing Juneteenth and its importance in American history.
In 1865, enslaved African Americans were legally able to be free, and Abraham Lincoln was obligated to push for this declaration which gave slaves in the South more autonomy and equality. The passing of the Juneteenth statewide holiday bill by Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, occurred on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre.
This day of remembrance is intended to shed light on those Black families and locals of Oklahoma who were brutally assaulted and murdered by white lynch mobs seeking to rob the state of Oklahoma‘s flourishing Black community of their economic welfare.
Recently, Hawaii passed their bill to accept Juneteenth as a statewide holiday on April 27. More and more states in the United States are beginning to rectify the nature of some of America’s most illuminating historical events. Oregon is following this decree and North and South Dakota are the lingering states that have not chosen to acknowledge the holiday yet.
In a proclamation made to Oregon’s residents by Gov. Kate Brown, the state’s leader released a statement in 2020, “I know this is a small, yet important step. I encourage all Oregonians to join me in observing Juneteenth by getting educated on systemic racism in this country and getting involved in the fight for racial justice.”
Texas was the first state to actualize the remembrance of Juneteenth in 1980 and other national states have been following this declaration ever since. This will be Milwaukee’s 50th anniversary for their Juneteenth statewide celebrations, even though they may have established the statewide holiday officially much later after choosing to commemorate Juneteenth in their local communities.