The symbolic day of Juneteenth is a great opportunity for corporate America to finally stand up to their rhetoric of solidarity and put into action many of their commitments after George Floyd’s appalling killing.
America will celebrate Juneteenth, on Friday the 19th. Many activists believe that this year’s Juneteenth will be a symbolic path towards reform and improvement. The day holds special significance because, on this day in 1865, the Union forces in Texas announced the freedom of slaves. This happened two years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The delay and the Juneteenth finally symbolized complete victory.
As many companies acknowledged the systemic racism in the US following George Floyd’s incident, it’s their moment to prove their vocal stand, said professor and author Laura Morgan Roberts.
While several companies like J.C.Penny, Nike, Altria, etc will be offering a paid holiday to its employees, Google has called for the cancellation of meetings to observe the day. While others like Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, has promised to remove portraits of Confederates from the House.
The day is not to be celebrated as a holiday as many companies like Walmart and Comcast are not giving a day off. However, they have pledged to work towards racial equality.
Smaller businesses will continue to work on the day as well. Mondelez, owner of Oreo has granted a special name to the day. Rather than a day off, Juneteenth is to be a “day of reflection” and learning. The day will act as a marker of the beginning of a change in American society.