Published by the African-American News & Issues Newspaper on 14th June 2021
Photo credit: texasobserver.org
Albert Ely Edwards is the pioneer who fought and introduced the bill to make Juneteenth a state holiday. The former state representative, known as “The Father of Juneteenth,” died last year at the age of 83.
At the age of 41, Edwards entered politics and was elected to the Texas State Legislature from Houston’s House District 146. His first major goal was to ensure the establishment of a holiday that recognized the emancipation of slavery. In 1979, legislation recognizing Juneteenth Day passed the Texas State Legislature and was signed into law.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is an annual holiday in 14 states of the United States. Celebrated on June 19th, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas.