Welcome back today is June 10th it’s an event that has been celebrated by African Americans in the u.s. for more. Than 150 years but awareness of this holiday is now growing as millions rise up against anti. Black racism to explain the significance behind this historic day we’re joined by Irene Moore Davis she is the president of the Essex County black Historical Research Society good. Morning to you Irene good morning so I think a lot of.
People first for many Canadians Juneteenth at least the term Juneteenth may. Be new so let’s backtrack a little bit and talk about its roots so. June 19 1865 was the date that the Union Army arrived in Galveston Texas.
And actually explained to the people there that they were free Lincoln had actually written or enacted the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st 1863 but for a variety. Of reasons enslaved people in Texas did not find out about their freedom until 1865 and June 19th so that obviously was a. Moment of great jubilation and celebration and it became known as June 19th which was shortened to Juneteenth it became something that African Americans celebrated in Texas and then later throughout the American.
South and then as African Americans began to shift further north through the great migration and it became part of celebrating communities in the northern United says yes I think a. Lot of people there’s so much more awareness considering the events that have been happening over the. Last few weeks with George Floyd and people wanting to learn more on this side of the border we know that there is going to be a sit-in there’s going to be. A rally here in Toronto and a lot of states are that’s not necessarily a statutory holiday but some states are making it a paid holiday and.
A lot of companies are jumping on board as well can you can you give some commentary. On that and why it’s so significant for these companies and knowledge meant of.
This yeah I mean Juneteenth has been acknowledged as a holiday in 47 states previously but there are 4 states that actually have made it a paid holiday for state employees. And what’s really great lately is that a number of companies have jumped onboard Target Best Buy lifts the New York Times the NFL many others been injuries and they’re recognizing. The importance of giving their employees the day off often with the recommendation that they participate in protests or peaceful rallies or. Whatever they can do to move the agenda of black lives forward and that’s really great to see I mean do you think that there should be more education there’s. Been a lot of talk about more education in our curriculum about black history what are your thoughts on that oh I think that’s essential I mean many of the issues that we’re.
Still confronting as people of African descent relate to a lack of education and see the pervasive stereotypes that have remained from the period of slavery that. Continued to make others see people of African descent as. Inferior or as inherently more dangerous or more likely to commit crimes and this results in a great deal of unsafe unsafe situations for people of African descent when.
They’re simply driving walking or whatever they’re doing so we do. Need to have a better sense of the history of slavery it’s aftermath it’s continuing implications and also have the great accomplishments and contributions of. People of African descent absolutely Irene we appreciate your time this morning thank you so much for joining us thank you.