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Democrats Introduce Bill To Make Juneteenth A Federal Holiday

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Edward Markey (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) have announced that they will introduce a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

The celebration of Juneteenth is about far more than remembering the day in 1865 when, more than two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, enslaved Texans were finally freed from the bondage of slavery,” said Senator Booker in a statement to PoliticusUSA. “Juneteenth is about reclaiming our history, rejoicing in the progress we’ve made, and recommitting to the work yet undone. Our nation still has a long way to go to reckon with and overcome the dark legacy of slavery and the violence and injustice that has persisted after its end. Making Juneteenth a federal holiday represents a step forward in the journey of healing America is still taking.”

The announcement of the introduction of legislation came a day after Senate Republicans blocked a bill to remove Confederate statues from the US Capitol.

Sen. Harris said in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, “On Juneteenth, we remember the millions who suffered, died, and survived the crushing reality of slavery in America, and recommit ourselves to continuing in the fight for equal justice for all. Without question, it should be recognized with the respect of a federal holiday.”

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You can read the bill here.

Juneteenth is already recognized in 46 states, but it needs to be a federal holiday for the entire country.

For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.

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