Professor: Juneteenth Should Be Federal Holiday

Jim Gudas
June 18, 2020 - 2:59 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Friday is Juneteenth, the day that celebrates the end of slavery in this country.

A professor who specializes in Black history and culture says it's time to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Joseph Flynn, associate director of the Center for Black Studies at Northern Illinois University, said Juneteenth deserves as much to be a national holiday as Independence Day.

"Juneteenth marks this moment in our history where as a nation we were saying, 'Yes, no one can live in conditions of forced servitude,'" Flynn said.

Flynn says Juneteenth is also an opportunity for Americans to reflect on the inequalities still facing Blacks and other minorities in this country, and what needs to be done to address them.

He notes the U.S. Senate has passed a resolution recognizing June 19 as "Juneteenth Independence Day."  He says the measure is awaiting action in the House.