South Florida is anticipating and celebrating Juneteeth!
President Joe Biden signed a bill making June 19, or Juneteenth, a new federal holiday, and here in South Florida, there are dozens of events celebrating.
The Black Professionals Network, is putting together a Juneteenth event for the city of North Miami Beach. Event organizers hope Juneteenth not only highlights a chapter in history but also unites people of all backgrounds.
"Throughout history, Juneteenth has been known by many names: Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Liberation Day, Emancipation Day, and today, a national holiday," said Vice President Harris, who is the first woman, Asian-American and the first Black person to serve as vice president. "We are gathered here in a house built by enslaved people. We are footsteps away from where President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. We have come far, and we have far to go. But today is a day of celebration. It is not only a day of pride. It's also a day for us to reaffirm and rededicate ourselves to action."
The legislation gained momentum after the Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd and the Democrats' takeover of the White House and Congress.
In 1980, Juneteenth became a Texas state holiday, and every state but South Dakota came to officially commemorate Juneteenth.
Juneteenth is celebrated annually on the 19th of June to mark the date some of the last enslaved people in the Confederacy became free.
While President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 to free enslaved people in Confederate states, it was not until two and a half years later that many Black people still held in bondage in Texas were told that the order had freed them.