Juneteenth, a combination of the month “June” and “nineteenth,” is also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Liberation Day or Emancipation Day. It is a holiday celebrated annually on June 19 and commemorates the day in 1865 when the remaining slaves in Texas received news of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed two years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln.
Juneteenth has officially become a Federal holiday in the United States. It initially became a state holiday in Texas in 1980, and today, 49 of the 50 U.S. states observe Juneteenth as a state holiday or day of observance. This year, Western Union joins several companies who will observe Juneteenth as a Company paid holiday in the U.S. on Friday, June 18, 2021.
It is important to take time to recognize the importance of this holiday and its place in history. To institute change, we must all reflect on the long struggle for equal rights in our communities and take steps to make things better today and for the future. Please use Juneteenth as an opportunity to learn more about Black culture and history, support a Black owned business, volunteer in your community or simply engage in local events with your family, friends, and loved ones.