On Friday, the singer Taylor Swift posted a thoughtful message about Juneteenth on her social media accounts — June 19, which marks the day that slavery ended in America — explaining why she thinks the holiday needs to be properly celebrated and people need to be informed about its context.
The “Lover” singer included in her post a video from The Root detailing Juneteenth and explaining “why it should be celebrated as a National holiday.”
In commemoration of the important day, Swift said she decided to give away all her employees June 19th off “in honor of Freedom Day from now on and to continue to educate [herself] on the history that brought us to this present moment.”
“For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right,” Swift, 30, concluded the post.
The black community has celebrated Juneteenth for 155 years, a day commemorating the end of slavery and the freedom of countless enslaved men, who only came two and a half years since Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The holiday, also called Black Independence Day, is not widely taught at school and is recognized as a state holiday in 47 states. The holiday has yet to be nationally recognized.
In the past few weeks, Swift has been speaking out to help in the fight against racial inequality following the killing of George Floyd. Last Friday, the singer revealed that she wanted monuments symbolizing “hideous patterns of racism” removed from her adopted Tennessee home state.