The Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District announced Monday that it will begin recognizing the holiday often referred to as the “Black Independence Day.”
The CID’s Board of Directors voted this month to formally observe Juneteenth, which is June 19, as a holiday in the district, making it the first CID in metro Atlanta to make such a move. A bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday was signed into law earlier this summer.
“Juneteenth is important to observe,” Gwinnett Place CID Executive Director Joe Allen said. “It shows that once again the Gwinnett Place CID is taking the lead to champion equality, diversity and inclusion within our shared community by not only commemorating the end of slavery in America more than 150 years ago, but by renewing our commitment to bring true equity into our greater Gwinnett community by working together to deliver on the promise that success lives here for all who call Gwinnett home.”
Juneteenth is called the “Black Independence Day” because it is considered the official end of slavery in the United States. Following the end of the Civil War, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, and announced that the Emancipation Proclamation, which is was issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, had abolished slavery in the former Confederate states.
CID officials pointed to the Gwinnett Place area’s diversity and multicultural makeup as the reason why it decided to recognize the Juneteenth holiday. There is no racial group that makes up more than 30% of the population of the Gwinnett Place area, according to CID officials.
The recognition of the Juneteenth holiday in the CID will be aligned to Gwinnett County government’s holiday schedule.
“Gwinnett Place is recognized as a flourishing center for an internationally diverse, livable urban community,” the CID’s officials said in their announcement.