Majority of Americans want Juneteenth to become a work holiday

People attending a Juneteenth event organized by the One Race Movement at Centennial Olympic Park today in Atlanta, Georgia.

By Lia Eustachewich | New York Post

A majority of Americans are in favor of making Juneteenth a work holiday, a new poll has found.

Sixty-six percent of participants said they supported their company honoring the day, the official end of slavery that’s commemorated on June 19 each year, according to a survey by the Harris Poll released Friday.

Gen Xers were most likely to support making Juneteenth a company holiday over millennials and baby boomers (81 percent versus 73 percent and 58 percent, respectively), as were black or African Americans (84 percent) compared to whites (61 percent), Asian or Pacific Islanders (60 percent), and Hispanics (67 percent).

President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South in 1863, though it wasn’t enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War two years later.

Most Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but it wasn’t until June 19 that Union soldiers rode into Galveston, Texas — the last remaining Confederate sympathizers — to deliver the news to enslaved black people that they were free.

The poll also found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) had some awareness of Juneteenth, while 48 percent said they were “not very aware” or “not at all aware.”

While Juneteenth is not a federal holiday, 46 states and the District of Columbia recognize it as a state or ceremonial holiday.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced it would be designated as an official holiday in New York state.

Companies including Nike and Twitter have recently made Juneteenth a corporate holiday. The New York Jets and Giants, meanwhile, announced they would close their offices Friday in recognition of the day.

The Harris Poll was conducted from June 13 to 15 with 1,963 adult participants.

Read the full story at the New York Post.