‘Critically important’: Hillsborough commissioners vote to make Juneteenth a county holiday

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to make Juneteenth a county holiday.

The agenda item was brought forth by Commissioner Gwen Myers in an effort “to honor the historical significance to the African-American community and designate Juneteenth as a county holiday for all county employees.”

Commissioner Kimberly Overman seconded the motion to make June 19 a county holiday and said it was important to recognize and observe history.

“Making this a part of our holiday schedule is critically important,” Overman said. “It addresses our desire to create equity in our community, but I think it’s also critically important that we pay attention to the history of not only our country but of our community and this is a great example of doing just exactly that.”

June 19 will now be listed in the 2022 county holiday schedule.

In June, President Joe Biden signed legislation declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery.

Juneteenth marks when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered. That was also about two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves in the Southern states.

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