Commonwealth Policy Center

Yesterday was Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of slaves. This is the second year it has been celebrated after Pres. Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act last year. This is the newest federal holiday. And in a number of ways it demonstrates just how far we’ve come to restore racial equity in our nation. Juneteenth commemorates freedom from slavery. It celebrates the courage of those who dedicated their lives to ending slavery, like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, and those who worked for full civil rights for blacks, like Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis. Juneteenth had been celebrated by blacks for years. Now the entire nation is celebrating a monumental achievement as we move toward a more just society.