Juneteenth Is a U.S. Holiday, but Not a Day Off In Most States

The proclamations issued across the country are “just largely symbolic,” said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African American studies at Duke University.

“If you really want to put skin in the game, you make it a paid holiday,” he said. Such actions show state employees, he added, that “‘this is a sacrifice on our part.’”

It also forces a recognition that Juneteenth is a day that should be commemorated by all Americans, not just Black citizens, Professor Neal said.

“You think of Juneteenth and Independence Day as kind of bookends to this idea of American democracy and freedom,” he said.

Texas became the first state in the country to make Juneteenth a paid day off in 1980. Mr. Biden signed the holiday into federal law on June 17, 2021.

Now, 24 states, and the District of Columbia, have made it a paid holiday. They are, according to Pew: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Source link

Leave a Comment