While California acknowledged Juneteenth as a holiday in 2003, President Biden recently signed the bill into law making Juneteenth an official federal holiday for all Americans.
Juneteenth dates back to 1865 when on June 19th Union General Gordon Granger led troops into Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of the Civil War and slavery. Thousands of enslaved people in Texas were among the last to learn of their liberation. This was the first time they had a taste of freedom. The joyous commemorations that began in Texas spread around the nation.
As a member of the Assembly, Secretary Weber was a champion for a task force on reparations to study slavery's affect and discuss the best ways if possible reparations could be given to those affected.
The task force is commissioned for ten meetings over the next two years and met for the first time in June. The group was slated to have its next meeting in August, but has moved the meeting up to July to get to work sooner. The task force is looking at ideas such as direct payments, free college tuition, and first-time homebuyer assistance as potential forms of reparations.
“This Task Force brings together experts who understand how we as Californians are still affected by slavery and its successors in our own state, including redlining, theft of labor, wealth and capital, over-incarceration, over-policing and systemic discrimination,” Secretary Weber said. “The aim of the Task Force is to heal the injustices of the past and present with tangible action, and to set a course for a better future for African Americans in the state.”
Learn more about the task force here. https://oag.ca.gov/ab3121. A recording of the task force's first meeting is available on YouTube here: