Push to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Although Juneteenth is recognized as a commemorative date in almost all 50 states, it still is not a federal holiday. 

Juneteenth commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of
slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans
throughout the former Confederate States of America.

“I think it’s important that people recognize Juneteenth. I think the country is still looking for reconciliation and healing. Something like Juneteenth speaks to respect and recognition to people that were considered not even human,” said Gwen Harmon, a manager at the Smith Robertson Museum in Jackson.

Legislation to make June 19 a federal holiday has dozens of co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate, but Democrats have not announced any plans to vote on it. 

Eric Collins, a local business owner of Herbal Blessings, said, “I think it would be a great service for us all and give us a sense of pride and a sense of passion to be who we were meant to be.”

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