Acting swiftly, Congress just passed legislation to make Juneteenth (June 19), the date associated with the end of slavery, a federal holiday. The Senate approved the bill on Tuesday, and it overwhelmingly passed the House on Wednesday. The measure heads to President Biden next, who will sign it into law.
47 states already commemorate Juneteenth in some fashion, but until now, only Texas made it a paid state holiday for government workers. All that will change likely within the next 12 months.
To celebrate Juneteenth with the Authors Guild, you can read these books about the importance of Juneteenth for not just Black Americans but for all who view the end of slavery in America as a crucial turning point in our country’s history and our American identity.