The United States Senate has unanimously approved a resolution that makes it possible to make the ‘Juneteenth’ holiday, which is celebrated on June 19, into a national holiday and commemorates the end of slavery in the North American country.
The legislation has gained notoriety after the strong protests registered in the country against racism and police brutality, framed in the movement Black Lives Matter (Black Lives Matter) after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers.
However, Republican Senator from Wisconsin Ron Johnson had blocked the measure in 2020 on the grounds that the holiday would cost taxpayers millions of dollars, according to information from CNN.
However, Johnson has now withdrawn objections from him, paving the way for the resolution to pass in the Senate. “Although I support celebrating emancipation, I objected because of the cost and the lack of debate,” Johnson said.
The text will now have to go through the House of Representatives before being ratified by the president, Joe Biden. The ‘Juneteenth’ commemorates the day that the declaration of emancipation signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 became effective in Texas, the last of the states to proclaim the decision, two years after the decree. A total of approximately 250,000 black slaves were freed ‘de facto’ in that state on July 19, 1865.
For a good part of the Afro-American population of the country, the ‘Juneteenth’ represents a much more heartfelt holiday than Independence Day, due to the negative associations that the latter entails as a prelude to the period of slavery in the United States.