Companies recognizing Juneteenth on Friday

The date marks the official end of slavery

The date marks the official end of slavery

Musical artist and producer Pharrell Williams has also started a campaign to request that every state governor make Juneteenth a paid holiday for state employees.

"They're required viewing. We actually sent a link around to the Juneteenth episode to everyone at ABC Entertainment in advance of Friday's holiday".

Forty-five other states and the District of Columbia have followed Texas' lead.

Juneteenth, a blend of June and 19th, commemorates the US abolition of slavery under President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, belatedly announced by a Union army in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, after the Civil War ended. But it wasn't enforced in many places until after the Civil War ended in April 1865. The Huntington Station teen organized a march from Amityville to Seaford to commemorate Juneteenth, the day when slaves in Texas learned they were free. In the musical episode, Dre (Anthony Anderson) is upset that there are not enough holidays celebrating Black people in America.

"We recognize that the racial trauma the country is experiencing now is not new, but throughout recent weeks there has been a sense that this time is, and has to be, different", Chief Executive Officer Brian Cornell said in a blog post.

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Alphonso David, the group's president, said , "No one should be denied a job or fired simply because of who they are or whom they love".

Juneteenth is a long-standing American holiday, celebrated since the end of the Civil War.

Here are some things to know about the important day, what historian Blair Amadeus Imani calls "a time of remembrance, action and celebration for Black lives". So, enslaved people there did not receive emancipation until the end of the war almost two years later.

While Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation back in January 1st in 1863, it took a few years for many enslaved African-American people to claim their freedom. But she made a decision to give her 16 employees the day off when she saw big tech companies doing it, and after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared it a holiday for state employees.

Lori Rosen, owner of a small public relations firm in New York City, had never heard of Juneteenth until recently.

A statue in Galveston, Texas, depicts a man holding the state law that made Juneteenth a state holiday.

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"We're hoping Juneteenth will inform and inspire people", she said.

At the end of the decade, [state Rep.] Al Edwards, a Democrat from Houston, introduced a bill calling for Juneteenth to become a state holiday.

Juneteenth has been an official American holiday for more than 150 years.

"People are more than welcome to wear masks, we'll have hand sanitizer, we have three sinks with soap and handwashing locations so if they need to, want to, we have it available", said Philip Brown, the event's promoter.

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