As the national dialogue about systemic racism continues, advocates are more hopeful than ever that the Juneteenth holiday is closer to getting the national recognition it has long deserved, Time reports. “There needs to be a reckoning, an effort to unify,” Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee told Time. “One thing about national holidays, they help educate people about what the story is.”
Juneteenth (June 19), refers to the day in 1865—two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed—when enslaved people in Texas finally received word about the official end of the Civil War, marking their freedom from bondage. Today, as protestors around the world continue to ring the alarm about police brutality and racial oppression, advocates of Juneteenth are reminding others to acknowledge slavery’s heavy impact on our present.