Juneteenth will become a paid holiday for New York City workers starting this year, announced Mayor Eric Adams, who noted that it was “long overdue.”
Celebrated annually on June 19, Juneteenth honors the abolishment of slavery in the United States.
“Juneteenth is a time for reflection, assessment, and self-improvement. People across the country of all races, nationalities, and religions unite on this day to truthfully acknowledge the stain of slavery and celebrate the countless contributions of Black Americans,” Adams said.
“It’s time for our city to finally do what’s right and officially designate Juneteenth as a city holiday. This decision is long overdue, which is why it will immediately take effect this year,” he said. “Holding a mirror to our nation’s past atrocities is never easy, but it is necessary.”
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that all enslaved people in the country had been liberated. The news came to Texas more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863.