Sean Jones, Wednesday, Adrian Florido discussed on All Things Considered

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And celebrate progress and grapple with the distance. We've come, but the dishes we have to travel gym. As NPR's Adrian Florido reports, the day has gained wider recognition since the nation's recent movements for racial justice President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in secessionist states on January 1st 18 63. Across the Confederacy. Many slave owners kept this news from their slaves for more than two years. On June, 19th 18 65 Union general wrote into Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil war and of slavery. Here's Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, reading that general's announcement on the House floor yesterday. The people of Texas are informed. In accordance with a proclamation from the executive of the United States. All slaves are free. Black Americans started celebrating the anniversary of that date the very next year and they have ever since with parades, festivals and prayer gatherings. Patricia Davis researches African American cultural memory at Northeastern University and says these communities celebrations have been an important way for black Americans to keep the memory of Juneteenth alive. That's the way most people get their history and particularly history that is not friendly to the idea. Of American exceptionalism. The holiday only began enjoying broader public recognition recently amid the nation's increased attention to issues of racial justice, police killings of black people and conservative efforts to limit how it races taught in public schools. All these events that have led to what people refer to as a racial reckoning. Have led to a greater awareness of histories that have not been centered in formal educational channels, and they've also inspired kind of a more critical orientation. Who had accepted historical narrative, Davis said. Juneteenth has benefited from this. Earlier this week, The Senate unanimously passed a bill making Juneteenth the 11th federal holiday on the calendar. The House approved it Wednesday and today, President Biden signed the bill into law in the East Room of the White House. It's a big deal that he's signing it, it is absolutely a big deal. Sean Jones is president of the Atlanta branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, which helps organize an annual Juneteenth celebration. More Americans will now know about this overlooked chapter in black history, he said. But we know that the fight and the mission for full acceptance in this country isn't over because that's what Juneteenth is. It is a recognition..

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