While it has been here for years, people are just now paying attention to the historical day of Juneteenth. Recently, celebrities like Pharrell Williams, Taylor Swift, and Usher urged to declare this day a national holiday.
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Freedom finally came to Black People in Texas on June 19th, 1985. The news was two years too late. Still the good news was cherished. Every year since, we have and will celebrate the day freedom came to Texas! If one of us isn't free, none of us are. #OurJuneteenth #ImagineBlackFreedom #BlackAFF
Amid huge changes taking place in the US, A-list celebrities have formed a coalition, Black Artists for Freedom.
In order to make sure that the protests do not go in vain, many Hollywood celebrities have joined hands. Black Artists for Freedom, a coalition of more than 1000 actors, musicians, filmmakers, artists, writers, poets, and others released a powerful statement called Our Juneteenth. Among the signees were Ava DuVernay, Trevor Noah, Sterling K. Brown, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Gabrielle Union, Thandie Newton, Tessa Thompson, Lupita Nyong’o, and many others.
Apart from this coalition, Pharrell Williams has also demanded to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
According to news, Pharrell Williams is in talks with Netflix to develop a Juneteenth musical. However, he also demanded that it should be a paid holiday. In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Pharrell Williams said:
“It’s high time that if we’re going to think about independence and what freedom really looks like, ours was never really acknowledged. Yeah, there’s 47 states that observe it but it’s not a paid holiday, we deserve a paid holiday,”
He also urged the US governors to take action and make a state holiday.
Other than Williams, Usher and Taylor Swift has also made similar calls for action.
While Usher wrote an op-ed about the significance of Juneteenth, Taylor Swift posted about it on her Instagram. In the op-ed, Usher said:
“The liberation Juneteenth commemorates is cause for celebration, but it also reminds us how equality can be delayed. My heart is shattered by the ongoing injustices in this country, incited by its long history of racism that has led to deadly outcomes for too many of our people. This country must change. Making it a national holiday would be a small gesture in light of the other social struggles Black people are battling, but it can remind us of our journey toward freedom, and the work America still has to do.”
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift wished everyone a happy Juneteenth and said:
Personally, I’ve made the decision to give all of my employees June 19th off in honor of Freedom Day from now on, and to continue to educate myself on the history that brought us to this present moment.
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I want to thank @the.root and @thedanielleyoung for allowing me to post this video about the significance of today, June 19th, and why it should be celebrated as a National holiday. Personally, I’ve made the decision to give all of my employees June 19th off in honor of Freedom Day from now on, and to continue to educate myself on the history that brought us to this present moment. For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right.
Chris Evans, Mindy Kaling, Beyoncé , and a large number of celebrities are speaking up about the importance of this historical day. It seems that the change is just around the corner.