The date of June 19, also known as Juneteenth will be recognized as an official paid holiday in the state of Virginia starting this year with state employees.
The announcement regarding this year’s change came from Virginia Beach native and musician Pharrell Williams and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam during a Tuesday, June 16 news conference.
He will work with the legislature later on a law to make Juneteenth a permanent state holiday, according to a news release on his website.
But Black people in Texas weren’t told they were supposed to be freed until June 19 of that year when the news was given to them by Union Major-General Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas.
Williams shared video of the news conference with Northam on his Instagram page and wrote, “Today I joined Virginia Gov. Northam to announce Juneteenth as a state holiday.