I’m definitely in favor of making Juneteenth a federal holiday. More holidays is better than fewer holidays. Plus, it’s very important to many people. It’s kind of bizarre that the first black president didn’t bother but it’s never too late.

I find the people on Twitter who say they are in their fifties and they never heard it mentioned to be weird. Immigrants, fine. But native-born people?

10 thoughts on “Juneteenth”

  1. Uh… I’m forty and I hadn’t heard of it. Pretty large oversight, now that I know about it. But it’s a thing that happens. Probably should be a holiday. Then we’d know about it 😉


  2. I’m not surprised at all; I’m guessing most middle aged white people where I am have never heard of it. That would change if we made it a federal holiday!


  3. “I find the people on Twitter who say they are in their fifties and they never heard it mentioned to be weird.”

    The term “Emancipation Day” has been taught in American history classes for many decades, but despite the current hoopla, the expression “Juneteenth” wasn’t in common use until recent years.

    I don’t recall ever hearing it from any source until after I’d retired from the military some twenty years ago.


  4. I first heard of Juneteenth in 1980 when I spent June and July in Austin, Texas. I had never heard it mentioned in any of the places I lived prior to that, including places in Sullivan County Tennessee, Blacksburg Virginia, East Lansing Michigan, and Newark Delaware. The white people I knew in Texas did not consider it important.


  5. I had never heard of Juneteenth until a couple of years ago… we sort of learned about the Emancipation Proclamation in school (in a “Ta da! The slaves are free!” version and not the long drawn out thing that it actually was).

    In normal circumstances I think making it a national holiday would be a great idea (though after the end of the school year blunts it a bit) but in the current cultural climate I’m pretty sure it would turn into something toxic that most people would want nothing to do with…


  6. Americans are such weird creatures… but then if they weren’t I wouldn’t have the joy of reading Flannery O’Connor. Thank you, Yanks ! (Oh gosh, is one still allowed to use that word ? Please, let me know, PC etiquette is so fleeting, one never knows what is still in style: we had blacks, then African-American, now it’s Black.).


  7. Why would Obama care? He has no personal connection to slavery. His father was an immigrant from Africa, not the descendant of slaves. Obama is the descendant of immigrants just like every other American president. The only difference is that his old country is in Africa rather than Europe.


    1. “His father was an immigrant from Africa, not the descendant of slaves”

      And he didn’t grow up in the African American community, he made a conscious decision to join it as a young adult, possibly with the goal of ‘fixing’ it (his brief history as a ‘community organizer’ of communities that did not want to be organized by him).


    2. Because the only reason he was elected – being completely unknown and having no record as a politician – is because African American voters were fanatically for him. And what did he do for them?


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