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NYC Mayor Adams Announces City Hall, Municipal Buildings to be lit Red, Black, and Green in Honor of Juneteenth

Juneteenth, officially Juneteenth National Independence Day was declared a federal holiday and day off for federal workers on June 19, 2021 under the administration of President Joe Biden

– New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that City Hall and other municipal buildings will be lit in the Pan-African flag colors of red, black, and green tonight in honor of Juneteenth. During his first year in office, Mayor Adams designated Juneteenth a paid city holiday for the first time in New York City history. Earlier this month, in honor of Juneteenth, Mayor Adams and the Landmarks Preservation Commission announced the creation of “More Than a Brook: Brooklyn Abolitionist Heritage Walk,” an interactive audio tour that explores Brooklyn’s history as a critical neighborhood for the National Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad. The audio tour can be accessed on a smartphone, tablet, or other device through the Landmark Preservation Commission’s (LPC) website. Finally, yesterday, LPC voted to designate the Frederick Douglass Memorial Park in Oakwood Heights, Staten Island as an individual landmark. The Frederick Douglass Memorial Park is the only existing non-sectarian cemetery founded by — and specifically for — New York City’s Black community.

“Juneteenth is a moment to reflect and remember the countless contributions Black Americans have made, and continue to make to this country,” said Mayor Adams. “As the second Black mayor of New York, I want to lift up our ancestors’ legacies with the reverence that they deserve. Juneteenth is a day that all New Yorkers, and all Americans, should be proud to honor — when the promise of freedom finally started to match Black Americans’ lived reality. But, as we all know, that was only the start of a longer struggle. Today, let us honor our inspiring and troubled past, and continue to build on the progress we have made.”

Although the Emancipation Proclamation declared the end of slavery in 1863, Black people in areas controlled by the Confederacy were still treated as slaves for two additional years. On June 19, 1865, Union troops marched into Galveston, Texas and freed those still in bondage; the nation now celebrates that day as Juneteenth — the moment where promises and reality finally converged.

In addition to City Hall, the following city buildings will be lit up red, black and green starting tonight and tomorrow at sundown:

  • Bronx Borough Hall: 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451
  • The David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building: 1 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007
  • DSNY Salt Shed Complex: 336 Spring St, New York, NY 10013

In April, Mayor Adams announced new economic data showing that the unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers has significantly decreased since the start of the administration. Between January 1, 2022 and April 1, 2024, the Black unemployment rate in the five boroughs decreased from 10.7 percent to 7.9 percent — a 26 percent decrease, or to the lowest point in half a decade. This marks the first time since 2019 that the Black unemployment rate in New York City has been below 8 percent

New York NY June 19, 2024 NYC.gov


The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which established June 19th (Juneteenth) as a federal holiday in the United States, was passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden.


  • On June 15, 2021, the Senate unanimously passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.[1]
  • On June 16, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the bill by a 415-14 vote.[1]
  • President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on June 17, 2021, making Juneteenth the 11th federal holiday in the United States.[1][3]

The act amended Title 5 of the United States Code to designate Juneteenth National Independence Day as a legal public holiday.[1] It requires federal employees to take the day off work annually on June 19th, or the closest weekday if it falls on a weekend.[1]

The passage of this legislation was spurred on by activists like Opal Lee as well as the Congressional Black Caucus amid the racial justice movement following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.[1][3] It made Juneteenth the first new federal holiday established since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.[1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneteenth
[2] https://www.snhu.edu/about-us/newsroom/community/what-is-juneteenth-and-why-is-it-a-holiday
[3] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Juneteenth
[4] https://www.nytimes.com/article/juneteenth-day-celebration.html
[5] https://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2019/06/juneteenth

Sources: Midtown Tribune news – NYC.gov
Big New York news BigNY.com

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