UPDATED with more companies: Several Hollywood companies have said they will recognize and make an annual paid holiday of Juneteenth, which commemorates the June 19, 1865 date when slavery ended in the U.S.
SAG-AFTRA, ICM Partners, Gersh and Hollywood PR biggie R&C/PMK are the latest companies to say they will observe the holiday for all its employees and close offices, after the likes of UTA, Endeavor, CAA, APA and the NFL last week said they will make the date an annual holiday. ICM will offer formal programming keyed to the day and special zoom events.
Spotify also said it will make Juneteenth a paid company holiday for all U.S. employees. To commemorate the day one if its flagship playlists, “New Music Friday” will feature black artists.
The holiday’s history: Two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863 — Union soldiers led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.
The proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee in April 1865, and the arrival of Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. Juneteenth has since become a symbolic date representing African American freedom.
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