A horde of Hollywood celebrities jumped to their social media accounts on Friday to call for Juneteenth to be recognized as into a national holiday.
Juneteenth, named for June 19, 1865, is the day that the final former Confederate state, Texas, officially read the Emancipation Proclamation into the state’s official record. The date was adopted by freed slaves as “Juneteenth,” and celebrated as the first day of their newfound freedom.
On the tail of weeks of Black Lives Matter protests, some focus has come to the Juneteenth holiday and now many in Hollywood are throwing their weight behind the push to made the day a national holiday. Celebs including actress Lupita Nyong’o, George Takei, Jason Alexander, Chris Evans, Taylor Swift, and others have jumped to social media to join the movement.
Pop star Taylor Swift created a video and worked with black-centric website TheRoot to advocate a plan to make the day a national holiday:
Happy Juneteenth! I want to thank @TheRoot and @RhapsoDani for allowing me to post this video about the significance of today, June 19th, and why it should be celebrated as a National holiday. https://t.co/7yjwh4Lddg
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) June 19, 2020
Swift also announced that from now on she will give her employees June 19 off.
Actress Lupita Nyong’o also pushed the holiday by retweeting the story of Opal Lee, who is leading a national effort to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
1. This is Opal Lee, the force behind the movement to make #Juneteenth a national holiday. Also known as Freedom Day, it is the day that commemorates when slavery officially ended in the USA. At 93, Mrs. Lee keeps banging the drum for the recognition of this day. pic.twitter.com/qrs9im0YWl
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) June 19, 2020
Pop star Katy Perry said “#Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom, culture, and the progress achieved through activism and voting. I’m working with @WhenWeAllVote to continue the efforts of past generations who fought for Black lives, Black voices, and Black votes.”
View this post on Instagram
Many of us are taught that slavery came to an end with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, but for enslaved people in Texas, freedom didn’t come until June 19, 1865. #Juneteenth is a day to celebrate freedom, culture, and the progress achieved through activism and voting. I’m working with @WhenWeAllVote to continue the efforts of past generations who fought for Black lives, Black voices, and Black votes. None of us are free until all of us are free.
Star Wars Mark Hamill called for recognition for the day:
"A celebration, but also a time of reflection, healing & hopefully, a time for the country to deal with its slave legacy."- Rev. Ronald V. Meyers Yesterday would be a good day to make #JUNETEENTH a National Holiday. #BlackIndependenceDay pic.twitter.com/tkGS5lrf1Z
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) June 19, 2020
Avengers star Mark Ruffalo tweeted out a petition to make the day a national holiday.
Consider signing this petition if you think NYS should make #Juneteenth a state holiday and co-sponsor the immediate passage of New York Senate Bill S2904A, which establishes the New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies ⬇️ https://t.co/GkDlDUO9iS
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) June 19, 2020
Activist actress Alyssa Milano joined an effort to push the Juneteenth message from left-wing group color of change:
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) June 18, 2020
Actor Jason Alexander said “there is no me without” the black people who cared for him and his family.
A black man inspired me to be an actor. Another black man changed the course of my career. A black woman raised me when my mother was too ill. Another black woman cared for my mother 17 years, holding her hand at her death. There is no me without them. ❤️ #BLM #Juneteenth
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) June 19, 2020
Avengers star Chris Evans cheered Congress’ move to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
As it should be. https://t.co/yJM3mXoxWb
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) June 19, 2020
Disney movie director Ava DuVernay said “I proudly join with my fellow artists in this call-to-action on the occasion of @OurJuneteenth.”
I proudly join with my fellow artists in this call-to-action on the occasion of @OurJuneteenth. The signature list is quite a thing to behold. Beautiful.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) June 19, 2020
Others Hollywood figures joined the effort to make the day a national holiday.
— Zendaya (@Zendaya) June 19, 2020
Happy Juneteenth! 2020 is turning into Black History Year. pic.twitter.com/SYwKgXb1Gt
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) June 19, 2020
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 19, 2020
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.