As one of my friends put it, New York "Governor Bae," Andrew Cuomo, is making Juneteenth an official State holiday (we are a little late to the party, as many states already recognize it as a state holiday).

"Friday is Juneteenth — a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States — and it's a day that is especially relevant in this moment in history." ~ New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, via CBS News

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"Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond." ~ via Juneteenth

Is Governor Cuomo invited to the cookout?  He might just be after this news!  He announced that he is signing an Executive Order here in New York to make Juneteenth a holiday for state employees and that he will push legislation through to make it an official state holiday.  State employees will get Juneteenth off, as a paid holiday.

"Today I will sign an Executive Order recognizing as a holiday for state employees. I will advance legislation to make it an official state holiday next year." ~ New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo, via Twitter

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This comes on the heels of news that Target, Best Buy, JC Penney, Twitter and Nike, will make Juneteenth a company holiday. This Juneteenth, Friday, June 19th, marks 155 years since slavery officially ended in the United States. Target is offering employees the day off as a paid holiday, even though stores will remain open. Any employee who works will receive overtime pay, according to HouseBeautiful.com JC Penney, which is closing more than 150 stores nationwide, will also offer employees a paid day-off or overtime pay to work on Juneteenth.

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I am happy that New York is finally joining so many other states.  I do wish that Juneteenth would be made a national holiday, but I doubt that will happen with the current Senate and administration.  It's crazy that slavery only ended 150 years ago.  I hope we are able to make real progress in this country for equality, equity and to end systemic racism.