Juneteenth has now became an official public holiday in New York state on Wednesday, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law.
Earlier this year, Cuomo issued an executive order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees.
“I am incredibly proud to sign into law this legislation declaring Juneteenth an official holiday in New York State, a day which commemorates the end to slavery in the United States,” Cuomo said. “This new public holiday will serve as a day to recognize the achievements of the Black community, while also providing an important opportunity for self-reflection on the systemic injustices that our society still faces today.”
Juneteenth is a portmanteau word for June and nineteenth and commemorates the June 19th 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.