Juneteenth is an official Massachusetts state holiday and the occasion will be recognized on Friday, June 18th due to the weekend by the closure of state offices. Burlington municipal offices will also be closed for the holiday. State Representative Ken Gordon spoke on the State House’s decision to make Juneteenth an official state holiday.
“There was a movement towards it over the past few years, it was recognized on different levels but not as a state holiday,” said Gordon. “We felt that it was time that we aa a Commonwealth recognized it statewide to commemorate the end of slavery officially. It’s really an important holiday for people in the African-American community and we should embrace it and honor it,” said Gordon.
Gordon spoke on the importance and meaning of the new state holiday.
“There are only two groups of American’s who didn’t come here seeking a better life. Those were people brought here against their will as slaves, and indigenous people. I think the time has really come to acknowledge the stories behind these groups of people and to show how we appreciate that they’re our neighbors if we’re not African-American or indigeniuos ourselves. And if we are African-American it is a time to take pride in our contributions,” Gordon said.
Juneteenth is officially June 19th, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslved in the United States. Juneteenth originated in Galveston Texas.