Juneteenth Gains Recognition Nationwide, But Southern States Continue to Honor Confederate Holidays

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As Juneteenth gains recognition across the United States, with it being a federal holiday since 2021 and acknowledged by at least 30 states and the District of Columbia, some southern states continue to honor Confederate holidays. Ten states, all in the South, observe at least one Confederate holiday, with six of these states—Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina, and North Carolina—not officially recognizing Juneteenth.

Mississippi and Alabama, for example, observe three Confederate holidays. In Alabama, despite Governor Kay Ivey’s authorization of Juneteenth as a state holiday for the fourth year, efforts to make it a permanent holiday face legislative hurdles. A recent bill proposed in Alabama allowed state employees to choose between Juneteenth and Jefferson Davis’s birthday as a holiday, which passed in the House but stalled in the Senate.

In South Carolina, a similar bill proposed giving employees a choice between Juneteenth and Confederate Memorial Day but did not come to a vote. Efforts to separate the celebration of Robert E. Lee Day from Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Alabama have also stalled.

These ongoing recognitions of Confederate holidays highlight tensions and the slow progress in addressing the legacy of the Confederacy, with some lawmakers and activists arguing that it undermines the significance of Juneteenth and disrespects the African American community.

Resource: As Juneteenth grows in US, southern states cling to Confederate holidays | US news | The Guardian

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