ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – The Governor of New York signed an executive order on Wednesday recognizing Juneteenth as a paid vacation for state workers to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the United States.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will propose legislation next year that will make June 19 a permanent national holiday. Such a bill already lies with the legislator.
“It’s a day when we all have to think. It is a day that is especially relevant at this time in history, “Cuomo said.
Several states are already observing Juneteenth, which has its historical roots in Texas, the first state to make it a national holiday in 1980.
President Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation took effect on January 1, 1863, but the news took time to travel. It wasn’t until June 19, 1865 that the proclamation message was brought by the Union Army to the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, making them one of the last to be released.
The Governor of Virginia proposed to make Juneteenth a national holiday earlier this week.
Rural protesters have called for action to address the nation’s legacy of racial oppression and discrimination in the aftermath of Minneapolis police who killed George Floyd.
“I want to be a driver of change and I want to help make this moment synergistic,” said Cuomo. “Whether it’s police reform, whether it’s a greater understanding of race, sensitivity and progress. And if Juneteenth is part of that, and the recognition of what happened and an understanding of what happened, great. ‘
Cuomo’s announcement also comes when he calls on local police forces across the state to tackle reforms seriously in the coming months. The governor has set a deadline for April 2021 for communities to implement concrete reforms or miss state support for police forces.
New York Democrat Assembly woman Alicia Hyndman filed a bill last week to make Junenteeth a holiday celebrating “black and African American freedom and achievement.”
As a state, it is our duty to recognize and celebrate June 19, not only by adopting resolutions, but also by pausing the entire state to recognize and reflect on a day that trajectories of life Most of the blacks and African Americans detained as slaves have changed in the US, “Hyndman said in a memo submitted in support of the legislation.
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