Taraji P. Henson Concerned About Moves To Remove Juneteenth As A Federal Holiday: ‘We Better Start Celebrating It’

by Gee NY

Actress Taraji P. Henson has voiced concerns about an agenda to remove Juneteenth as a federal holiday, urging people to actively celebrate and defend it.

Known for her roles in The Color Purple, Hidden Figures, and the TV series Empire, Henson stated that the holiday is important for the Black community during an appearance on ABC’s The View.

“I’m going to say this, and I’m going to say it once,” Henson stated. “We better start celebrating it, because there is an agenda that’s trying to take it. So it means more now than it’s ever meant before because we’ve got to show up and fight for it so we can keep it. It’s very serious what we’re up against, it keeps me up at night. I’m counting on humanity, though.”

Henson stressed the need to ensure Juneteenth, recognized annually on June 19, remains a federal holiday, a status it gained in 2021 when President Joe Biden signed it into law.

She linked the fight for Juneteenth to broader issues of freedom and mobility, noting that many people lack the resources to leave the country if necessary.

In a related discussion, The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg interjected, arguing that leaving the country equates to surrendering it. Goldberg has previously suggested she might leave the U.S. if Donald Trump were elected president in 2016.

Henson’s warning comes amidst a backdrop of mixed political opinions about Juneteenth.

Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has criticized the holiday, suggesting it was created “under political duress” following George Floyd’s death in 2020.

Ramaswamy even proposed canceling Juneteenth or another “useless” holiday in favor of making Election Day a federal holiday. On the contrary, Donald Trump, while president, pledged in 2020 to make Juneteenth a federal holiday and designate the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization.

Despite these controversies, recognition of Juneteenth among private employers has increased significantly.

This year, 41% of private employers are offering Juneteenth as a paid holiday, a notable rise from the 39% last year and just 9% in 2021 when it was first recognized federally.

Henson’s impassioned plea underscores the ongoing battle to maintain the significance and recognition of Juneteenth in American culture and law, stressing the need for public support and celebration to protect its status.

Related Posts

Crown App