Juneteenth, a day reserved for recognizing the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, is fast approaching. In 2021, Congress passed a bill to acknowledge June 19 as a federal holiday, but since then, only a handful of places observe it on the state level.
Yesterday (June 8), Nevada got on board with making Juneteenth sanctioned. Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo signed the bill into law, Fox 5 Vegas shared today (June 9). According to the outlet, local officials voted in favor of the measure 40 to one in the state Assembly and 19 to two in the state Senate. Other places that have adopted the day as a paid federal holiday include Texas, New York, Virginia, and Washington.
Today, I was honored to sign AB 140, which officially made Juneteenth a state holiday in Nevada. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, and I’m proud that Nevada will now recognize this holiday on a state and federal level. pic.twitter.com/eDxLySbok0
— Governor Joe Lombardo (@JosephMLombardo) June 8, 2023
Democratic Assemblywoman Claire Thomas was in favor of the Nevada vote. “As the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment, which gave African Americans the right to vote, Nevada has a long and proud history of supporting civil rights. By designating Juneteenth as a state holiday, Nevada continues to honor that legacy and celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight for equality,” she shared. In addition to community leaders, many celebrities have also used their platform to spread awareness about the holiday’s history.
In a June 2020 interview with Yahoo! Finance, LL Cool J said, “It’s about time that people recognize the day worldwide. And let me tell you something, man, you know Blacks in America have come a long way but still got a long way to go. And there’s a lot of remnants of, you know, systemic issues that still exist that try to exclude us from participating in certain things.” Juneteenth began in Texas and signifies when the last Black people forced into slavery learned they were were no longer considered property. While President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to grant enslaved people freedom in the United States, many did not receive the news until 1865.
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