Michigan Governor Whitmer has issued a proclamation declaring June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan. President Joe Biden signed a bill marking the day as a federal holiday just one day earlier.

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Whitmer's proclamation states,

"Juneteenth is an essential day of remembrance and a recognition of how far we still have to go to achieve our ideals of equity and racial justice in Michigan. Over the past year, we have had long-overdue conversations about race and equity amidst and unprecedented global pandemic and shocking yet routine instances of violence and discrimination towards communities of color, especially Black Americans. Our racial reckoning reminds us that it is our responsibility, whether we are citizens or public servants, to change our laws and root out systemic racism in every aspect of our society from health care, housing, education, policing and more. I’m proud to declare June 19 as Juneteenth Celebration Day once again and want to recommit us all to building a more equitable and just Michigan."

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Lt. Gov. Gilchrist says the holiday is a recommitment to the work that still needs to be done. Gilchrist added to Fox 17,

"Far too many Black Americans and other people of color continue to suffer as a result of racism and discrimination that communities of color face every day. Black Michiganders deserve a state that celebrates, listens to, informs and empowers them."

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its origins in Galveston, TX in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.