In 2021, President Joe Biden declared this day a federal holiday.
This weekend in the United States marks the anniversary of June 19, 1865 – that distant day when the enslavement of black Americans was ended in the country.
The celebrations took place in a variety of places – from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to Galveston, Texas, and New York’s Harlem.
“This is a celebration of America, not just a celebration of African Americans,” said Gerald Griggs, head of the Georgia Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“This is a true Independence Day,” Griggs explained, “the day when all Americans became free.”
Recall that on June 19, 1865, shortly before the end of the Civil War, General Gordon Granger announced to slaves in Texas that, according to the laws of the country, they were free citizens.
The Emancipation Proclamation officially issued by President Abraham Lincoln came into force in 1862 (the second document on this subject was published in 1863). However, its provisions could not be implemented until the Northern troops won a military victory over the Confederate forces.
In 2021, President Joe Biden declared June 19 a federal holiday.
In a statement released on Friday, Biden mentioned ten people who died as a result of the tragic shooting incident that took place on May 14 in Buffalo, New York.
“We must stand together against (the concept of) white supremacy and show that bigotry and hatred have no place in America,” the document emphasizes.
Gerald Griggs noted that June 10, which African Americans have been celebrating for generations, is also a moment of difficult reflection on overdue reforms in the field of voting rights, as well as in the work of law enforcement agencies, in whose actions many African Americans see a discriminatory approach.
However, Griggs urged all Americans to celebrate the holiday.
In Atlanta, celebrations began at the historic Ebenezer Church, where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.