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Today, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation declaring that June 20, 2020, will officially be "Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A Day of Observance" throughout California. He also noted that the Capitol will be lit up on Friday night in honor of the holiday.
"This year, the California State Capitol will be lit in the pan-African colors of red, black and green, which represent the African diaspora to enslavement in the New World; as those of us who work in the building continue to advance policies that promote equity and right historic wrongs," Gov. Newsom said. "Let us all redouble our commitment to use our power to stamp out racism in our communities and institutions and help secure freedom for all."
The celebration of June 19th, or 'Juneteenth,' dates back 155 years and is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in America.
On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and famously read off the Emancipation Proclamation... Becoming the historic moment when slaves living in the south finally found out they were freed.
Still not exactly sure what Juneteenth is, and why it's celebrated? Check out ABC7's video below for a better explanation:
“Juneteenth commemorates an extraordinary moment, and this year, we celebrate during an extraordinary time," Newsom said.
To read Governor Gavin Newsom's full Juneteenth proclamation, click HERE.