Perspectives: Juneteenth 2021

Headline Roundup June 19th, 2021

Saturday is Juneteenth, which marks the anniversary of when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, on June 19th, 1865. President Joe Biden signed a law making it a federal holiday on Thursday, the first holiday added to the U.S. calendar since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. Earlier this week, the Senate passed that bill with unanimous support.

Most of the opinions about Juneteenth this year were framed around the day becoming an official holiday. Opinions were more common from left- and center-rated outlets. Many left-rated voices celebrated the decision; many also called it a "hollow victory" and grouped it with other "symbolic gestures that are presented as progress without any accompanying economic or structural change." Some right-rated voices criticized that narrative and its proponents, arguing that "there is no concession or show of good faith that will ever placate their ever-increasing litany of demands."

From the Left
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OPINION

This week, President Biden signed into law the "Juneteenth National Independence Day."

It is honoring the work of Black Americans, including people such as 94-year-old Civil Rights Activist Opal Lee, who had long advocated for the celebration that started in Galveston to be made a federal holiday.

Juneteenth celebrates the date when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19th, 1865, bringing news that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed the enslaved population living in the Confederacy, albeit two years prior.

Yet the reaction amongst many African Americans, myself included, has been muted....

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From the Right
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OPINION

Within a matter of hours of President Joe Biden signing into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act and, thereby, creating a new federal holiday—the first such addition to the calendar since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was added in 1983—activists returned to their now-familiar refrain: “It's great, but it's not enough.” By 10 o’clock the next morning, Jade Magnus Ogunnaike, a senior campaign director at the advocacy group Color Of Change, published an opinion column at The Root under the headline “Juneteenth Is More Than a Federal Holiday. We...

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From the Left
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OPINION

On Thursday, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Juneteenth, which Black Americans have been celebrating since 1866, commemorates the end of legalized slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865, and grew into a broader celebration honored by Black communities throughout the country.

Over the past year, public interest in Juneteenth has significantly grown and many large companies have begun to provide employees with a paid day off (or reduced workload) to coincide with the holiday.

In a statement from JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, the company’s...

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