October 28, 2021

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For more than a century and a half, a public holiday will now mark the end of slavery in the United States

U.S. President Joe Biden enacted a law this Thursday, creating a new federal holiday called “Junetin” to commemorate the release of the last slaves in Texas 156 years ago on June 19, 1865.

Junettin marks the long and difficult night of slavery and submission, and the promise of a better day.He spoke with Vice President Kamala Harris of Indian and Jamaican descent during the White House ceremony.

Slavery was officially abolished in December 1865, nearly 250 years later, a “Moral stain” And “America’s original sin “, Recalled the President of the Democratic Party.

Rare moment of political unity

In a rare moment of political unity, the Senate unanimously approved on Tuesday the text of the law, which would summarize “Junet’s National Independence Day”, “June” and “19” in English, and then the House of Representatives approved it by a majority, with only 14 elected Republicans voting against.

On June 19, 1865, the Union Army (1861-1865), which had won the Civil War, proclaimed their freedom to slaves in Galveston, Texan, more than two years before President Abraham Lincoln’s Declaration of Liberation on January 1, 1863.

All Americans can feel the power of this day

Slavery was abolished in December 1865 with the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

By making June 19 the 11th federal holiday, “All Americans can feel the power of this day and learn from our history, celebrate the progress made and see the distance traveled.”, Said Joe Biden. But, he insisted, the liberation of slaves “Beginning only” Efforts to “keep the promise of racial equality”.


►►► Also read: 60 years ago, freedom fighters embarked on a journey for their rights, risking their lives

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“We’re not there yet”Joe Biden said that despite the progress of the civil rights struggle in the 1960s, black minorities (13% of the population) were discriminated against in employment, housing or health care.

Hate will not go away

Many conservative states have recently adopted controlled electoral laws. Considered to be fighting fraud, they are accused of restricting access to ballot boxes for African-American voters, mainly Democrats.

“America’s promise to all will not be fulfilled unless the right to sacred suffrage is endangered”, Reprimanded Joe Biden on Thursday.

This holiday is reserved for federal employees who are deemed essential, but “Junetine” is already a holiday in most US states, where it is usually celebrated with parades, concerts, or block parties.


►►► Also read: Emancipation of slaves: What is the “Junetin” celebrated in the United States on June 19?


Many big companies like Twitter, Nike or Lift gave their employees a day off after the death of George Floyd, an African-American who was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. His murder provoked historic outrage against racism.

The signing ceremony also marks the sixth anniversary of the death of nine people in an attack by a white supremacist on a black community church in Charleston, South Carolina.

That man “Our efforts to eradicate hatred took lives in the place of worship (of believers) to remind us that hatred never ceases, hatred disappears, but never disappears.”Joe Biden warned.

This year also marks the centenary of the massacre of African Americans in Tulsa, Arizona. On June 1, 1921, hundreds of white protesters looted and burned a black neighbor’s house nicknamed “Black Wall Street”, an example of economic success. Historians estimate that up to 300 people were killed in the violence.


►►► Also read: Survivors’ pain 100 years after Tulsa massacre in US: “I can still hear planes flying over us”


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Since the death of George Floyd, the country has looked back on its enslavement in the past, and long-standing calls for compensation for black people for the wrongs experienced throughout history have gained new strength.

Joe Biden supports legislation to create a commission of experts to present plans to compensate the descendants of about four million Africans who were forcibly brought to the United States between 1619 and 1865.