AUSTIN – Juneteenth was recognized in the State of Texas as an official holiday on January 1, 1980. Currently however, the holiday is considered only a partial staffing holiday and government offices do not officially close on June 19th allowing instead for employees to officially celebrate only by choosing it as one of four optional holidays recognized by Texas.
State Representative Carl O. Sherman’s (D-109) House Bill 736 encourages the passage of a paid Juneteenth holiday for public employees in the State of Texas.
“This Bill is important in order to fully recognize Juneteenth as an important and recognizable holiday and not merely an added holiday that employees can choose to recognize as an option,” Representative Sherman said.
House Bill 736 calls for the closing of state agencies and institutions of higher education for the observance of the Juneteenth Holiday.
To that end, State Representative Sherman will be supporting an upcoming inaugural Juneteenth Celebration March and Festival made possible by both The Blair Foundation and The Elite News as a reminder of the importance of this holiday.
“It is about being respectful of our heritage and our culture,” said Elite News’ Editor-in-Chief Darryl Blair. “Dallas will be the epicenter for this Juneteenth celebration from all over Texas. Juneteenth is an example that if you don’t celebrate your own heritage and you don’t bring respect to your own why should anyone else,” Blair said.
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Juneteenth is the oldest celebrated national remembrance of the ending of slavery in the United States.
“Until African Americans were free America was not free. We are not free until the whole family is free. We are all made of one blood,” said Representative Sherman. “It is of interest to every man and woman in the state that we make sure we recognize such a substantial day in the history of the State of Texas.”
House Bill 736 and the upcoming inaugural event is just one more way to shed light on the importance of naming the Juneteenth Holiday a celebration that all Texans can enjoy.
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While the other minority-based publications focus on South Dallas, there is only ONE newspaper that focuses on African-Americans in North Dallas and the surrounding areas. It’s the North Dallas Gazette, a good choice when you want to reach a true representation of Dallas African-American consumers.