(Albany, NY) The Senate today passed legislation creating a public holiday to celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth is a celebration of Black Americans’ freedom and their cultural contributions and achievements in American history.
“The Juneteenth holiday is a reminder of our past and a celebration of freedom,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “It recognizes the day when the last enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy were informed about their emancipation. As we enjoy this festive day, we also recognize that there is still progress to be made. I applaud Senator Parker for advancing legislation to establish this holiday and inform more New Yorkers about its significance.”
Bill Sponsor, Senator Kevin Parker said, “African-Americans have played an integral role in the freedoms and quality of life we all enjoy today. In New York State, it is important we recognize Juneteenth and use it as an opportunity to reflect on our country’s complex history, and acknowledge the profound contributions African-Americans have made to our nation. Every day our communities witness a continued fight for justice and equality. Designating Juneteenth a public holiday gives us a chance to recognize our liberties, honor our ancestor’s struggle for emancipation, and send a clear message that we value this significant moment in history.”
The legislation advanced by the Senate Majority, Senate Bill S.8598, sponsored by Senator Parker, designates June nineteenth as a public holiday. This public holiday to be celebrated statewide on June nineteen every year will commemorate for all New Yorkers the celebration of the end of slavery as experienced by those who were enslaved in Texas and were last to learn about the victory of the Union Army and their emancipation on June 19, 1865.