Los Angeles County

Juneteenth Is Now A Paid Holiday in The City of Los Angeles

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Los Angeles, CA–Juneteenth is now an official holiday in the City of Los Angeles, after a proclamation signed today by Mayor Eric Garcetti. The proclamation comes after Ninth District City Councilman Curren Price introduced a motion that won an unanimous vote by the L.A City Council, to officially acknowledge Juneteenth. Price introduced the motion in 2020, at the height of civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, which saw increased demands for police reform and calls to address structural racism facing African-Americans.

“This is a long-awaited bittersweet moment,” said Council-member Price. “Juneteenth marks the end of our nation’s darkest days by acknowledging its historical significance and offering a sense of vindication. Juneteenth for the Black community serves as a brighter chapter. Our freedom day. Our true day of emancipation. This will now be a day of remembrance for our City.”

The holiday will be recognized as a City holiday on June 19 every year. If the 19th falls on a Saturday, the holiday will be observed the preceding Friday, and if it falls on a Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday. This year, the holiday will be recognized on Monday, June 20. 

Read More: “Leimert Park Rising” is Fast Becoming L.A.’s Largest Juneteenth Celebration

Juneteenth is a day to honor the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when Union Army General Gordon Granger issued an order proclaiming freedom for some 250,000 enslaved Black people in Texas.

“But not everyone in Confederate territory would immediately be free. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was made effective in 1863, it could not be implemented in places still under Confederate control. As a result, in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, enslaved people would not be free until much later.

Freedom finally came on June 19, 1865, when some 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas. The army announced that the more than 250,000 enslaved black people in the state, were free by executive decree. This day came to be known as “Juneteenth,” by the newly freed people in Texas,” – (NMHAAHC).

Texas was the first state to adopt Juneteenth as a holiday in 1979 and President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act Jun. 2021, making Juneteenth a federal holiday. 

“We need every Angeleno to learn the full story of our past, no matter the ugliness of some of its chapters – and that means recognizing the lasting legacy of slavery in our country,” said Mayor Garcetti. “While we can’t dislodge structural racism overnight, it’s our responsibility as a city to acknowledge hard truths and advance reforms, and by declaring Juneteenth an official holiday, we’re making it clear that the ending of slavery should be remembered as a watershed moment in American history.” 

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism. Follow Me on IG @Slausongirl

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