On April 8th, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball made an announcement stating that Juneteenth will be an official county holiday starting this year. Juneteenth which is short for June 19th celebrates the day slavery ended in the United States. June 19th is also known as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day.
“Today, we’re proud to announce that Juneteenth will be an official County holiday. In Howard County, we consistently recognize that diversity is our strength, and are always working to be more equitable and inclusive, that includes making sure that our community has the opportunity to recognize and learn more about this defining day,” said Calvin Ball.
2021, is the start of Howard County observing the June 19th holiday as an official county holiday. This year, June 19th falls on a Saturday, due to that, employees who work in the county will be paid holiday leave and exempt from work on the day before. Many people had something to say about the news.
Chairperson, Everlene Cunningham, of the Howard County Center for African American Culture, shared that the announcement is a “giant step.” She also invites everyone to join her at the museum for their annual celebration.
Barbara Peart, Elder on the Council of Elders, also was very ecstatic about the announcement, “I’m so pleased that Howard County is recognizing this day. I thought about this celebration, Juneteenth being two years late, and as far as we have come, we still have a way to go. So much of what is happening to African Americans and other people of color are still late, I hope that as Howard County elevates the celebration of Juneteenth, that we make sure children know their history and Black history is incorporated into American history,” reports scotteblog.com
The announcement has left a positive impact on the HoCo community. It has given much hope for the future especially with the events that have currently been going on.