The afternoon, now called Juneteenth, celebrates the official ending of slavery in the United States — although it wasn’t officially abolished before the constitution was amended after that year.
Lots of men and women mark the day with outdoor parties and festivals.
The action of freeing slaves in Texas was a substantial moment since the nation was so distant and Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 hadn’t been enforced there.
Dr. Scot Brown, Associate Professor in UCLA’s Department of African American Studies, advised Euronews the day has turned into a Chance to talk about what liberty means.
“The Confederacy was at war with the Union and Texas was among the final nations to collapse,” he explained.
“Although there was a proclamation that the Texas plantations were not made to give up enslavement until about around the time of the year in 1865.”
Juneteenth has become an official holiday in Texas and unofficially observed across the USA, but campaigners have believed it ought to be recognized from the national authorities similarly in Independence Day or Labor Day.
This year, say governors in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia recognized it as a paid day of leave for state workers.
It arrived following a couple of demonstrations against racism and police brutality across the nation after the passing of George Floyd.
Brown said the demonstration had introduced”a chance for us to think of what liberty means for us now”.
He explained: “So are we speaking about economic liberty, are we discussing concerns of poverty, are we speaking about problems of police brutality, are we speaking about voting rights?
“These things factor into how we think of what liberty means around the time of the year at the moment.”
But even though the effort for recognition is gaining traction and businesses such as Nike and Twitter have advised employees it’ll be a permanent paid off, it is going to require an Act of Congress to make a new national holiday.
A tweet from New York congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman calling for Juneteenth to turn into a national holiday was retweeted over 150,000 times.