This is Why Everyone Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Celebrate Juneteenth

Rosalyn Morris
5 min readJun 19, 2022
Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

June 19th is now officially a federal holiday — Juneteenth. Juneteenth is the celebration of when the enslaved in Galveston, Texas learned they were free, two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on June 19, 1865 by Abraham Lincoln. Although this was over 150 years ago, Juneteenth did not become a federal holiday until last year. That’s not because there wasn’t an effort. A national group of Black leaders and organizations have been fighting for Juneteenth to be made into a federal holiday for over 25 years. “We’ve put 28 years into this,” says Deborah Evans, vice chair of the board of directors for the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. “I’m exhausted and exhilarated.”

I don’t believe Juneteenth should be celebrated by all Americans. I don’t say this to be divisive. I don’t say this to exclude anyone. I also don’t say this to take away from what Juneteenth celebrates: freedom for African Americans. It’s almost like we can’t have anything for ourselves. Other groups, or everyone, has to be included, or nothing is given at all. Juneteenth celebrates the freedom of African Americans, and it was African Americans who fought for it to be a national holiday, African Americans who have been celebrating it since the nineteenth century, and only the descendants of the enslaved should celebrate this day — with pay.

Here are some reasons:

All Black people don’t get to have Juneteenth off from work.

Juneteenth is a federal holiday. That means only federal employees are guaranteed the day off. Most companies will be open for business on Juneteenth and most workers won’t have the day off. One year later, only 18 states have passed legislation that would provide funding to let state employees observe the day as a paid state holiday, according to the Congressional Research Service. Furthermore, most Americans, until recently, don’t even know what Juneteenth is, and if they do, they only have a rudimentary understanding. In June 2022, nearly 60 percent of Americans said they knew about the holiday, compared with 37 percent in May 2021, according to a Gallup poll. I think Juneteenth should be a holiday that’s based on race and ethnicity. The day off from work and school would give…