Juneteenth is now an official paid holiday! Virginia Governor Ralph Northam teamed up with the 757’s very own Pharrell Williams to make the announcement.
Freedom Day, also known as Juneteenth, commemorates the day, June 19, 1865, when the Emancipation Proclamation was read to slaves in Galveston, Texas. It freed the last slaves in the US.
“This is the chance for our government, our corporations, and our citizens to all stand in solidarity with their African-American brothers and sisters,” said Pharrell, “this is our chance to lead by example. This is our chance to lead, to truly embrace the importance of Juneteenth, and treat it as a celebration of freedom that black people deserve… this is about proper recognition.”
After he explained the importance of the day, Pharrell said he’d “like to see corporations that call Virginia their home give people the paid day off.”
He also added “there is no turning back. We are only moving one direction now: forward.”
And speaking of moving forward, the “Happy” singer said, “from this moment on, when you look at the vastness of the night sky, and you see those stars moving up there, know that those stars are our African ancestors dancing. They’re dancing in celebration because their lives are finally being acknowledged.”
Only forty-seven of the 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C. have recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday or ceremonial holiday… we are so happy Virginia made such a huge step in recognizing the history of our people.
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