Mayor Jim Kenney announced on June 16th that Juneteenth has been designated an official holiday for the city of Philadelphia.
All city offices and facilities will be closed to the public on Friday, June 19th, to commemorate the holiday.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, celebrates June 19th, 1865. Union General Gordon Granger read federal orders that all previously enslaved people were free.
“Now more than ever, it’s critically important to acknowledge America’s original sin of slavery — something we as a nation have never atoned for,” Kenney wrote. “The only way to dismantle the institutional racism and inequalities that continue to disenfranchise Black Philadelphians is to look critically at how we got here, and make much-needed changes to the governmental systems that allow inequality to persist.”
Kenney designated the official holiday for 2020 but hopes to continue it for years to come.
Numerous protests have occurred in Philadelphia over the past few weeks to support the Black Lives Matter Movement, so this declaration is big for the city.
Continue to raise awareness about Black Lives Matter by signing petitions, donating, marching, educating yourself and others, and listening.