Today is Juneteenth, celebrated annually to mark the end of slavery in the U.S. You can add Taylor Swift to the chorus of voices who believe that June 19 should be made a national holiday.
Tweeting a video explaining the history of Juneteenth, Taylor explains, “Personally, I’ve made the decision to give all of my employees June 19th off in honor of Freedom Day from now on, and to continue to educate myself on the history that brought us to this present moment.“
She adds, “For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right.”
If you’re not familiar with Juneteenth, it commemorates the day in 1865 when the last of the slaves in Galveston, Texas were told that they were officially free. While the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery on paper two years prior, the news didn’t reach Texas — where there were still 250,000 slaves — until two years later.
By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.