June 19: Amid celebrations and celebrations across the country, several cities, states and universities have declared them an official holiday

June 13, known as the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, is not yet an American national holiday. Although it has been celebrated by Black Americans for more than 150 years, states, cities, and universities across the country have begun to recognize the often overlooked date as one that deserves greater recognition.

Beginning next year, June 19 will officially be a holiday in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday.

“We will work with all the unions on the plan, we will give this day the importance and recognition it deserves. Every city worker, every student will have the opportunity to think about the meaning of our history and truth, and think about the work we have to do in advance,” he said. Blasio.

The official celebration of the city’s holidays comes with the establishment of a new commission to work on understanding the effects of structural and institutional racism in New York and “creating a historical record of racial discrimination with an emphasis on housing, criminal law and the environment racism and public health.” .

“The movements led by the people of Africa have changed this country to the core and will continue to do so. So this is just the beginning of the recognition of this holiday, but we still have a lot to do,” de Blasio said.

In Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a proclamation recognizing “June 19 Day” in the state capital on June 19, calling this year’s celebrations “particularly significant as Black Lives Matter demonstrations take place in all 50 U.S. states and around the world as would protest for centuries police brutality and systemic racism against African Americans. “

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The governors of the state of Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia, Kansas and Illinois were among the state leaders who issued official proclamations declaring June 19 “June 16 Freedom Day” or “June 16 Recognition Day.”

In Minnesota, where the assassination of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers triggered recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the United States and the world, government team Walz said in a statement that “June 19 marks our country’s second Independence Day.”

“We need to do everything in our power to work together to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in our state so that every person in Minnesota – black, Indigenous, brown and white – can be safe and thrive,” Walz said.

In his official proclamation, Virginia ruler Ralph Northam said “June 19 history is not just black history – it’s American history,” adding that the day marked “a key moment in the American story that should be mentioned to all of us.”

On Friday, many universities closed the honor

An increasing number of universities and universities across the country closed on Friday in honor of June 19th.

“All teachers and staff will have a full day off,” Harvard President Lawrence Bacow wrote in an email this week. “If you have to work on supporting key operations that day, your efforts will be recognized with other paid free time.”

Announcements are coming in that some universities are also considering removing statues, renaming buildings and replacing mascots as part of a larger call by the country to change systemic racism and injustice.

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“As I have said many times before, Columbia University is not innocent of the racist structures that have befallen America,” Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger said in an email Wednesday. “There’s a lot more to do.”

Other higher education institutions, including Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania celebrate June 19 as a “day of reflection,” while Georgetown and Drake have announced that June 19 will continue to be recognized as a holiday of the year.

“Facing the challenges of this moment, I hope this day will be a time to reflect and re-engage with the work of racial justice,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia wrote.

Peaceful marches and gatherings saw calls for activism against racial inequality

Addressing reporters Friday at the June 12th event in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Reverend Al Sharpton said people should use this holiday to celebrate, as well as celebrate, the independence of enslaved blacks.

“It reminds us that it’s been almost three years since the emancipation was signed so that people in Texas would even know slavery was over. And even after that, we went through 100 years of Jim Crow. And when we were there after that we couldn’t.” I don’t vote, “Sharpton said.” And now we are in an era where we are treated differently, even in a pandemic of health differences, inequalities in criminal justice and police. “

People are marching through the streets during a June 16 event organized by the One Race Movement in Atlanta, Georgia.

In Chicago, Illinois Gov. Bill Pritzker and U.S. Sensor Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth joined hundreds of people marching through the city’s neighborhoods, surrounded by signs with photos of George Floyd.

Earlier Friday, Pritzker Tweeted that he worked together with the National Assembly on “true reform of the criminal justice system, a thoroughly designed version of the work of the police, sustainable investment in black communities.”

In Washington, D.C., citizens gathered near the intersection of 14th Street and U Street for musical performances, speeches, jumping competitions, and more. Songs calling for a series of reforms were heard, including fair pay, equal access to food and redistribution of police funds, said Brian Todd of CNN, who reported from the crash site.

 People pray together during the event, which takes place on June 16, at the century-old Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia.

Protesters in Los Angeles could be heard talking not only about the historical significance of June 14, but also about the fact that the date is marked when slaves in Texas discovered they were free in 1865, despite declaring emancipation two and a half years earlier,

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Speakers at the rally could be heard “talking about taking control of their communities, ownership of their communities, and also … about changing the relationship between the police and these neighborhoods,” Stephanie Elam told CNN.

CNN’s Elizabeth Stewart, Sheena Jones and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.

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