On June 19, the holiday Juneteenth celebrates the freedom of African Americans from slavery in the United States in 1865. Recently, Walmart was criticised for their new Juneteenth themed ice cream. Juneteenth is made up of the words ‘June’ and ‘nineteenth,’ and it was on this day, more than 155 years ago, that Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas to inform slaves that slavery had been abolished.
Given the significance of Juneteenth in the ongoing fight for social equity, Garden Remedies believes it is important to highlight some of the current challenges and how the cannabis industry is helping to handle them. In Illinois, Juneteenth is now both a federal and a state holiday. When is Juneteenth and what does it celebrate? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Juneteenth? Where is it observed?
The holiday, which has long been observed by African Americans in the United States, remembers the day when many enslaved individuals in Texas learned they had been freed on June 19, 1865.
Although President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation two years ago, it was not implemented fully until after the Civil War ended in April 1865 in many places. Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger and his forces arrived in Galveston, Texas, two months after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered, with news that the war had ended and the enslaved had been set free.
While Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth a state holiday, the vast majority of states now recognize the day as a holiday or observe it in some way. State employees in Texas, New York, Virginia, Washington, and now Illinois get paid on Juneteenth, and hundreds of businesses give their staff the day off.
Juneteenth is a combination of the words June and nineteenth. Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day are other names for the holiday.
When did Juneteenth become a federal holiday?
President Joe Biden signed into law a bill recognizing Juneteenth as the 12th federal holiday, the first new federal holiday since 1983 after it passed the House and Senate earlier this week.
“This is a day of profound weight and profound power, a day in which we remember the moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country and continues to take,” Biden said.
The federal holiday has no defined start date in the legislation. Congress seemed set on passing the bill ahead of this year’s observance, with the Senate passing it on Tuesday and the House passing it on Wednesday.
Walmart’s Juneteenth 2022 themed Ice Cream being Criticised
After receiving backlash on social media, Walmart recalled their Juneteenth-themed ice cream. New products, including party decorations and other items to celebrate the event, were advertised at the department store.
Customers, on the other hand, questioned the store’s profiting off a black holiday and trademarking the name “Juneteenth,” which is an important aspect of African-American history.
Walmart has a red velvet ice cream with a Juneteenth theme. The product was packaged in the official colors of Black History Month: green, red, yellow, and brown. The ice cream tub also included a version of the day’s logo.
Chris Lovingood contacted the company to enquire about the trademark situation and how the products helped the black community. He also discovered that the term “Juneteenth” has been filed 32 times, notably by Balchem Corporation.
Many users questioned the product’s intentions, believing it was simply a means for the company to make money, with one user writing:-
“Capitalism is a retail conglomerate, owned by a white billionaire family, marketing and ice cream to celebrate a holiday that commemorates the emancipation of slaves in a country that was literally built on the backs [of] slaves. See Walmart’s ice cream.”