UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Will Recognize Juneteenth As Company Holiday

Jun 17, 2020, 2:20 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2020, 3:35 pm
Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz...
Donovan Mitchell (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz will recognize Juneteenth as an annual company holiday. The franchise announced that it will celebrate June 19 yearly by giving employees the day off. June 19 marks the 135th anniversary of the emancipation of African American slaves in the state of Texas.

“The Utah Jazz announced today its plan to designate Juneteenth as an annual paid company holiday for its employees, starting with its observance on Friday, June 19.” The press release read.

“In the midst of the national conversation and calls for racial justice, our franchise has made the decision to pause, work to further educate ourselves, and reflect on our country’s race relations both past and present by observing Juneteenth,” Jazz President Jim Olson said. “This is an important milestone in our history and another step for us to learn more about freedom for all and the fight for equality, and ideally be part of helping to create meaningful change.”

According to the release, “Jazz employees and the NBA family will have access on Friday to watch “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” the new Magnolia Pictures, Participant, and Color Farm Media film about the life and legacy of John Lewis.”

What is Juneteenth?

On June 19, 1865 General Gordon Granger marched into Texas and announced that the Union Army had authority over the state. In accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln more than two years earlier, General Granger announced that Texas must free all slaves.

Juneteenth is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth. The day is also known as Emancipation Day and Black Independence Day.

Most states across the country celebrate the holiday. Many states host parades, religious ceremonies, or festivals to commemorate the day.

The organization Juneteenth Utah is hosting a block party at Washington Park in Salt Lake City on June 19 to celebrate the day.

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