Celebrities and public figures are taking a moment to celebrate Juneteenth.
This holiday was named for, and is celebrated on, June 19 to commemorate the true ending of slavery in the United States. Earlier this week, days before this year's celebration, the House passed legislation after an unanimous vote and President Joe Biden signed a bill into law recognizing Juneteenth as an official federal holiday.
Social media was filled with celebratory and informative posts from people acknowledging the day.
"Happy #Juneteenth everyone! We’ve come so far — but we know we still have a long way to go," Halle Berry wrote, also asking people to share their Black-owned businesses to "highlight a few today."
Happy #Juneteenth everyone! We’ve come so far — but we know we still have a long way to go. Please drop your Black-owned business under this thread. Would love to highlight a few today. 👏🏽— Halle Berry (@halleberry) June 19, 2021
Lupita Nyong'o also posted a photo of educator and social activist Opal Lee, known as the Grandmother of Juneteenth, on her Instagram.
"We owe deep respect to Ms. Opal Lee whose unwavering commitment is surely responsible for the Senate (finally!) passing a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday this week," the actress wrote in part. "I hope you’ll join me in thanking @TheRealOpalLee for her inspiring accomplishment, let alone at 94 years of age!"
Oprah Winfrey, Kerry Washington and Michelle Obama also paid tribute in their own special way.
"I love that Juneteenth is now an official federal holiday. A time to honor our past and those who’ve forged a path to our present. Which is why I’m excited to present #LiftEveryVoice, a collection of powerful interviews with a highly regarded older generation of Black Americans," Winfrey wrote. "Their experiences and wisdom can lead us to a better future if we’re open to receive it. What makes their stories even more poignant, is that young Black journalists and photographers captured their words and images in a spectrum of Black excellence."
Their experiences and wisdom can lead us to a better future if we’re open to receive it. What makes their stories even more poignant, is that young Black journalists and photographers captured their words and images in a spectrum of Black excellence.— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) June 19, 2021
Happy #Juneteenth!!!!! 🖤❤️💚
Any other recommendations on how to celebrate Black liberation and excellence? Drop em in the comments👇🏾✊🏾🖤 pic.twitter.com/TEPZxuRTc0— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) June 19, 2021
Let's celebrate #Juneteenth becoming a federal holiday by recognizing the generations of enslaved Black people who fought so hard for their freedom. One of the best ways to do that is by fortifying our sacred right to vote. https://t.co/OoT5OJvRCm— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 19, 2021
See more celebrities and public figures celebrating Juneteenth, below:
Juneteenth is a day of profound weight and profound power. pic.twitter.com/z6VHappC8G— President Biden (@POTUS) June 19, 2021
Now that Juneteenth is a federal holiday, take a minute to learn about Opal Lee—the woman who did more than anyone to make it happen. Let’s follow her lead and try to leave our grandkids a better world than the one we came up in. https://t.co/r2NhXQxd60— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 19, 2021
Today we celebrate #Juneteenth and Black independence in America. I am filled with hope for a brighter future and look forward to the celebration of Juneteenth as a national holiday. https://t.co/pJexuhZOSM— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) June 19, 2021
Today is about our resilience, our joy, our liberation.
I'm proud to join @NAACP_LDF in celebrating the strength & beauty that runs through our community. Though there is much more work to be done, we celebrate the freedom we have from those who came before us.June 19, 2021
True independence cannot exist, if it does not exist for all.
Without Juneteenth, the day the last of the slaves realized their freedom, our celebration of Independence Day on July 4th, lacks substance and *truth*.
Happy Juneteenth my friends.— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) June 19, 2021
Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, abolishing slavery declaring all slaves in the Confederate states to be free.
Yet on June 19th, 1865 the news finally reached made it to Galveston, Texas.June 19, 2021
"Emancipation: free 2 do what I wanna
Emancipation: see U in the purple rain
Emancipation: free 2 do what I wanna
Emancipation: break the chain, break the chain"June 19, 2021
#Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom for Black Americans, commemorated by millions around our nation for 156 years. This day marks a milestone in the abolition of slavery, followed by complete abolition w/ the ratification of the 13th Amendment 6 months later on December 6th.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 19, 2021
ET's Kevin Frazier recently spoke with Winfrey about what Juneteenth means to her, to which she replied, "It means freedom, it means liberation in the true sense, it means prayers answered, it means hope, it means the ability to move forward, it means life choices, it means god given rights. That's what it means."
She added that the holiday is a reminder to reflect on where she's come from, what she's achieved and overcome. "
"If they could survive that -- being enslaved and coming out of the enslavement and creating a life and not losing your mind and still being able to love and build families -- if they could do that then there is nothing, nothing we cannot do," she stressed. "That is what it means to me. It is a reminder [to] look how far you've come and there's nothing you cannot do."
See more in the video below.
Oprah Winfrey on Father's Day, Juneteenth and Excitement Over Harry and Meghan's New Baby (Exclusive)
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