Ohio lawmaker urges Congress to make Juneteenth a federal holiday

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio State Rep. Juanita Brent introduced a resolution to the Ohio General Assembly on Thursday urging Congress to make Juneteenth a paid federal holiday.

June 19 recognizes the day in 1865 when news that slavery ended reached Texas. It was two months after the end of the Civil War.

“This country was built off of the free labor of enslaved African Americans from the construction of the White House, to bridges and roads. As we prepare to observe Juneteenth this year, it is vital that people can properly celebrate America’s history,” said Brent, a Democrat from Cleveland.

“This holiday has long been recognized by 45 states and the District of Columbia. It is time for the nation to collectively observe the significance of the emancipation of our enslaved ancestors,” the state representative said, in a news release on Thursday.

This resolution comes after weeks of protests and rallies calling for racial equality across the country, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Last week, Brent proposed an amendment to a bill banning the sale of Confederate flags and memorabilia at county fairs. The Ohio House of Representatives voted against it.

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