When Juneteenthturned into a federal holiday last year, South Carolina organizer Jamal Bradley was finally overjoyed to receive the recognition he deserved.

But his enthusiasm quickly waned when he learned that state leaders had decided not to follow the holiday.

It just lets me know that there is still work to be done in South Carolina, "said Bradley, who initiated a petition for a state holiday in Juventus.

Also known as "Liberation Day" or "Independence Day", Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced to the enslaved African Americans that they had been liberated –

More than two years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Many black families have been celebrating this holiday for generations, but it began to gain widespread attention in 2020 after the assassination of George Floyd and Brenna Taylor.

Despite federal recognition, some black organizers are beginning to see that local support could be a tough lift.

Despite federal recognition, some black organiAlthough each state has at one time or another recognized Juneteenth as a day of observance, according to the Pew Research Center, 26 states, including seven former Confederate states, have not yet accepted Juneteenthas a paid public holiday.zers are beginning to see that local support could be a tough lift.

The reason for the delay varies from state to state. In some places, this is due to backward bureaucracy. Elsewhere, it's time to dump her and move on.

Similarly, there is a range of effects. On a practical level, the lack of a state holiday means that local workers cannot take the time to observe the Juneteenth.

This means that the state government building will remain open even on holidays. But to many black activists, the amount of Juneteenth that state governments have embraced speaks volumes about their progress toward racial justice.

"Our legislators are missing an opportunity to show that this state is ready to move forward," Bradley said.