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Juneteenth becomes an official city holiday

City of Charlotte

The City of Charlotte will recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday for the first time next year. Charlotte City Council voted unanimously on Monday to make June 19 a paid day off for city employees.

Juneteenth has been a nationally recognized holiday since 2021. The holiday acknowledges June 19, 1865, as the day that marked the end of slavery in the United States for the last enslaved people to get the news in Texas.

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said the holiday isn’t just another day off for city employees but holds the importance of commemorating the past and creating equity within the city.

We acknowledge that many of us can look at this today and say it’s been needed and been necessary,” said Lyles. “We also have to remember there was at a time people didn’t know about this and people suffered for much longer than necessary.”

“Even today we talk about how we deal with equity in our community, I think this is a recognition and a way to say we’re very serious about this kind of action,” said Lyles.

Juneteenth Independence Day will be the city of Charlotte’s 13th paid holiday. That’s the same number of paid holidays as Mecklenburg County employees receive.

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Kenny is a Maryland native who began his career in media as a sportswriter at Tuskegee University, covering SIAC sports working for the athletic department and as a sports correspondent for the Tuskegee Campus Digest. Following his time at Tuskegee, he was accepted to the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program as a Marketing Intern for The NASCAR Foundation in Daytona Beach, Florida in 2017.