California State Senate; Governor Gavin Newsom; Mayor Libby Schaaf; Mayor London Breed; Mayor Eric Garcetti; U.S. Senate; Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi; Congressman Eric Swalwell; Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
Make Juneteenth an Official California State Holiday!
Juneteenth is the unofficial holiday Black Americans celebrate to mark the abolition of chattel slavery. We the people of California demand that California Governor Gavin Newsom and our elected officials make Juneteenth an official state holiday.
Why is this important?
Every year our states celebrate the Fourth of July to honor our nation’s independence from Great Britain, in 1776. The United States continued to deny freedom to enslaved Africans for almost another 100 years. We still do not have a national holiday celebrating the official end of the brutal enslavement our Ancestors endured.
Despite Abraham Lincoln’s efforts with the implementation of the Emancipation Proclamation that took effect on January 1, 1863, the executive order was not enforced in Texas until June 19th when Union Gen. Gordon Granger rode in to deliver the news after the official end of the Civil War, in 1865. Even though the E.P. took place in 1863, Texas was considered a fringe state.
As a young mixed Black womxn, moving through Oakland public schools did not allow me the opportunity to learn about my heritage and/or ancestors in the way that I believe we should have. Only after graduating have I come to understand our history and the importance of Juneteenth. Juneteenth marks a day of the utmost significance in American history. It represents the ways in which freedom for Black people has been delayed. It should be celebrated as the day when all Americans were liberated.