Juneteenth: A Jubilee of Freedom (Andy Craig, June 19, 2020, Cato)

Aside from its anti‐​slavery origins, the popular adoption of Juneteenth over other possible dates serves as an example of culture and tradition arising organically rather than from official recognition, which only began in recent years. Today, forty‐​nine states (all except Hawaii) have made some form of official recognition for Juneteenth and there is a movement urging Congress to adopt it as an official national holiday. [Juneteenth became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021.] That would be fitting.

It might be a symbolic gesture but symbolism matters. The abolition of slavery and the suffering and contributions of black Americans deserve a prominent place in our national narrative. The festive, celebrative spirit of Juneteenth is particularly appropriate for this. The triumph of hope over adversity and liberty over slavery is very much worth celebrating.