South Carolina could be the next state to name Juneteenth a holiday
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- South Carolina state Sen. Darrell Jackson announced plans to file legislation that would designate June 19th, referred to as Juneteenth, a statewide holiday in South Carolina.
Juneteenth is an annual celebration of the day in 1865 when the last enslaved African Americans, located in Texas, were finally ordered free by Union troops.
Jackson plans to file the legislation in the coming days,
which recently pushed for recognition of Juneteenth as a state holiday, as well.
“I think, in this moment in time particularly, it’s important to acknowledge African American history in our state,” Jackson said in a news release. “South Carolina has a long, painful history of slavery and racial discrimination, as well as a record of honoring the Confederacy with monuments and other official gestures. It’s time to shift the narrative away from idolizing racist slave owners and toward recognizing the accomplishments African Americans have made in the face of enormous adversity”.
Juneteenth is celebrated or recognized by 47 of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
In South Carolina, the date was designated as a “special day” in 2008. Designating Juneteenth as a legal holiday rather than a special day could allow for closures of state offices as well as public schools and universities for observation.