Taylor Swift calls for Juneteenth to be an official US national holiday

Taylor Swift is the latest star to throw her support behind making Juneteenth a national holiday in the USA, and has given her staff the day off. 

Juneteenth – aka 19 June – is the date which marks the official end of slavery in the USA, when black people in Texas finally learned slavery had been abolished in 1865. 

There have always been calls to make the date a holiday across all states in the USA, but with the spotlight being on Black Lives Matter in the wake of George Floyd’s death, several stars have shown their support for it finally being made official.

Taylor shared a video from The Root magazine explaining why it should be a national holiday, telling her fans: ‘Happy Juneteenth!

‘I want to thank @the.root and @thedanielleyoung for allowing me to post this video about the significance of today, June 19th, and why it should be celebrated as a National holiday. 

‘Personally, I’ve made the decision to give all of my employees June 19th off in honour of Freedom Day from now on, and to continue to educate myself on the history that brought us to this present moment.

‘For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right.’

Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 that Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery.

It came two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation came into effect in January 1863, but many slave owners had continued to hold their slaves captive nonetheless. 

Texas declared it a state holiday in 1980 and all except three states, North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii, have also adopted the date as a state holiday or observance.

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