Leading US Civil Rights Organization Says Encouraged By Signing Of Juneteenth Bill

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Leading US Civil Rights Organization Says Encouraged By Signing of Juneteenth Bill

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 18th June, 2021) The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is encouraged that Juneteenth has become a national holiday in the United States, but the date serves as a reminder the fight for freedom is ongoing, a NAACP spokesperson told Sputnik.

President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law earlier on Thursday, making it a national holiday that marks the emancipation of the enslaved people in the United States.

"As we work towards substantive pieces of legislation to protect voting rights and create transparency and accountability in policing, we are encouraged by today's signing of the Juneteenth bill," the spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday. "It is a reminder that freedom is an ongoing fight.

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The legislation was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate with bipartisan support. It marks the first establishment of a new Federal holiday since the creation of Martin Luther King Jr. day in 1983.

Juneteenth commemorates the anniversary of Union Army Gen. Gordon Granger proclaiming freedom for slaves in Texas on June 19th, 1865. Although President Abraham Lincoln had declared the emancipation of the slaves in 1862, enforcement of their freedom took longer as it took the Union forces more time to make their way to Texas.

The freed slaves and their descendants began celebrating the holiday, which often coincided with political rallies that instructed them about political and social activism.