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Why Juneteenth Should Be a National Holiday

June 19, 2020 2 min read

155 years ago, Union Major General Gordon Granger read an official federal order stating all enslaved people in Texas (more than 250,000) were free. Here’s the thing—enslaved people were already emancipated two and a half years prior. On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and declared "that all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states are, and henceforward shall be free."

So why were there 250,000 people still enslaved after it was outlawed in America more than two years before? Unfortunately, it was due to a combination of misinformation to Texas slave owners, no information at all, or a blatant choice to ignore it. 

In many ways, Juneteenth represents how freedom and justice
in the US has always been delayed for black people — Vox

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, our country continues to dismantle racist systems, prejudices, processes, and institutions. We’re witnessing one of the biggest social justice movements to promote racial equity since the Civil Rights movement. Juneteenth should become a federal holiday so that we ALL—not just black people—can remember, reflect, and take action to eradicate all forms of racism. 

Juneteenth is “a way to enter conversation with people who have experiences, memory, culture different from yours and helps us imagine living together in a plural country,” Howard University’s Carr points out. “What we’ve seen over the last two centuries is an attempt to forge a national identity without first engaging in a truthful reflection of how the idea of freedom and liberty is taken for granted. This country’s national narrative does not apply to everyone and everyone doesn’t observe it. Time.com

Let’s confront and accept our nation’s history and roots. What counts now, more than ever, is to RADICALLY do better as we move forward. Join Love Is Project as we sign this  Change.org petition to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. 


Founder, Love is Project 

P.S. If you’re vibing the Black and Gold Bracelets in the photo, you can  check them out here . For every Kenyan-made Love Is Project bracelet sold this month, we’re donating 10% of the purchase to  Black Lives Matter and the  NAACP .

Kenya LOVE hands solidarity photo: Georgina Goodwin 


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