Juneteenth marks the official end of slavery in the United States and various corporations have suddenly found creative ways to honor and observe one of Black America’s most important and cherished holidays.
According to Billboard, Warner Music Group, Sony and Spotify are officially making June 19 a paid company holiday for all of its employees.
Spotify a statement to Billboard, which reads: “Juneteenth will be a paid company holiday for all U.S. Spotify employees to support the Black community and give this day the recognition it deserves. Additionally, in celebration of Juneteenth and Black Music Month, one of Spotify’s flagship playlists, 'New Music Friday' will exclusively feature Black artists on Friday, June 19th.”
A staff memo from Sony Music said the company promised "more detailed information about our Juneteenth commemoration leading up to Friday. We look forward to coming together in progress and will provide."
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While most slaves were freed through the Emancipation Proclamation effective in January 1863, slaves in states under Confederate control didn’t receive that news and remained enslaved. Juneteenth (June 19, 1865) is the day Union troops traveled to Galveston Island, Texas and forced the state to free its slaves.
Also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, June 19th commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclaimation abolished the ownership of human beings nationwide.
(Photo by Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)