US Consulate in Cape Town explains significance of Juneteenth National Holiday
- The United States of America has recognised 19 June as a national federal holiday to commemorate the emancipation of slavery
- Acting Public relations Officer at the US Consulate in Cape Town Emily Saffer explains the significance of the day Juneteenth
Juneteeth - June 19th - has been declared as a new federal holiday in the USA. But what is its significance, background, and role in promoting conversations on race relations and inequality in the United States?
Refilwe Moloto speaks to Emily Shaffer, Public Affairs Officer for the US Consulate in Cape Town.
19 June 1865 was the final day that African Americans in Galveston, Texas were told they were free and no longer enslaved.
It is important to remember that not all these people were slaves by then but were rather still an enslaved people, Refilwe notes.
Many were doctors, artists, thespians, philosophers.Refilwe Moloto, CapeTalk Breakfast presenter
Juneteenth is the date that the last enslaved people were finally informed they were free.Emily Shaffer, Public Affairs Officer - US Consulate in Cape Town
She says it is now acknowledged as a holiday in every US state except South Dakota.
On Thursday night it was overwhelmingly passed by our Federal Congress as a federal holiday. Only just a few Members of Congress voted against.Emily Shaffer, Public Affairs Officer - US Consulate in Cape Town
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