Establishing Juneteenth as national holiday is opportunity to create “new America”

The Senate has unanimously passed a bill to establish Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday. This is an historic moment and an opportunity to create a “new America,” according to Anne Bailey, professor of history at Binghamton University, State University of New York and director of the Harriet Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equity.

“We are in what I am calling, ‘The Age of Repair,’ This is a moment for us to look back and look forward to creating a new America — one that is more equitable and lives up to its stated ideals,” said Bailey.

Bailey said that there are so many people on the grassroots level to thank for their commitment to making this a reality, including the late Dr. Ronald Myers, who led early efforts to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

“This Juneteenth holiday is a reminder that we must put people over profit and seek to repair the inequities and disparities that have arisen as a result of almost 250 years of slavery in the United States of America,” said Bailey.