Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown gathered with the region’s leading African Americans, to take time out to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday Friday morning.
It was a pivotal moment in American history, when former president Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation back in January of 1863.
“But, it wasn’t until the June 19th 1865, two and a half years later that the last enslaved Africans, were made aware that they were free,” said Ulysees O. Wingo Sr. common councilman. “And, on that day, they had to make a decision, whether or not they were going to stay on the plantation or if they were going to go and work for themselves.”
Fast forward to today decades later Mayor Byron Brown has decided to make Juneteenth a holiday.
“In 2021, Juneteenth will become a holiday for all city of buffalo government employee,” said Brown.
“Now, we’re celebrating Juneteenth, and I commend the mayor, I commend the governor form making it a holiday,” Wingo said. “But, a holiday is an exemption from work. That day marked the day, that we had to start working for ourselves, to prove that we were equal to the rest of this country.”
Also, in honor of the holiday, city hall will be lit up with the colors of red, green and black. Virtual Juneteenth celebration https://www.juneteenthofbuffalo.com/