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Bay Area Communities Celebrate as Juneteenth Becomes Federally Recognized Holiday

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US Vice President Kamala Harris and Opal Lee (2nd L), the activist known as the grandmother of Juneteenth, watch as US President Joe Biden signs the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, in the East Room of the White House, June 17, 2021, in Washington. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Calling it “one of the greatest honors” he would have as president, on Thursday, Joe Biden signed new legislation to make June 19 a federal holiday. Known as Juneteenth, the holiday commemorates June 19th, 1865, the day when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas first learned that the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been signed two years earlier, had ended slavery. We talk about Juneteenth and the significance of it being recognized as a federal holiday. How do you plan to celebrate?

Guests:

James Taylor, professor, University of San Francisco; author, Black Nationalism in the United States: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama

Cree Ray, festival director, San Francisco Black Film Festival

Dana King, sculptor, Monumental Reckoning

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