Michigan now recognizes Juneteenth as state holiday

Whitmer, Gilchrist issue proclamation


LANSING, Mich. – A proclamation was issued declaring June 19, 2022, as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II issued the proclamation jointly on June 19, 2022.

“Juneteenth marks a crucial day in our nation’s history to recognize the important progress we’ve made, while committing ourselves to the ongoing effort to center equity in all our work and make Michigan a place where every person can succeed,” Gilchrist said. “As the first Black lieutenant governor in our state, I’m building the policies and practices that will address and undo the damage racism and injustice has caused on our communities. That’s why we continue to invest in schools, job training, environmental justice, infrastructure and supporting businesses – all transformational investments and policies that celebrate, support and uplift communities of color. I am proud of the progress we’ve made thus far and will continue to work every day to make sure every all Michiganders have the support and opportunities they need.”

The holiday commemorates the June 19, 1865, emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It marks the day Union Army General Gordon Granger read General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas, stating that all enslaved people were free.

“We are proud to celebrate Juneteenth as an official state holiday for the first time,” Whitmer said. “Today presents an important opportunity to celebrate and elevate the stories of Black Americans as we continue to make record investments in communities of color. Since we took office, the lieutenant governor and I have prioritized building a state representative and responsive to the people we serve, addressing racial disparities and improving equity across Michigan. I am proud to declare June 19th as Juneteenth Celebration Day, and I am committed to working with anyone to build a more equitable and just state for all Michiganders.”

Read: Complete Juneteenth coverage

June 19, 2022: Juneteenth Celebration Day

WHEREAS, Juneteenth is a holiday marking the end of slavery in the United States; and,

WHEREAS, this year marks the 17th annual State of Michigan Juneteenth Freedom Day Recognition; and,

WHEREAS, when Union Army General Gordon Granger landed at the Texas port city of Galveston in 1865 as the Civil War drew to a close, one of his first actions was to read General Order #3, which stated that all slaves are free and that former masters and slaves have absolute equality of personal and property rights; and,

WHEREAS, following his statement, June 19th (Juneteenth) became the emancipation date of those long suffering for freedom; and,

WHEREAS, since then, as the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in America, the tradition of celebrating Juneteenth has remained strong well into the 21st century, recognizing the triumph of the human spirit over the cruelty of slavery and honoring the strength, endurance, and faith of African American ancestors; and,

WHEREAS, in June 2005, Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm signed legislation officially designating the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Michigan, and Senator Martha G. Scott sponsored Senate Bill 384 to recognize Juneteenth as an official state holiday; and,

WHEREAS, in June 2021, President Joe Biden signed legislation officially designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday; and,

WHEREAS, this year, we are proud to celebrate Juneteenth as an official state holiday for the first time; and,

WHEREAS, it is imperative that we continue to work towards a more equitable and just Michigan and ensure the joys of liberty and justice for every resident of our state;

NOW, THEREFORE, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, and Garlin Gilchrist II, lieutenant governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim June 19, 2022, as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan. We encourage all citizens in the State of Michigan to participate in the Juneteenth Freedom Festival and celebrate African American history and culture, while continuing to promote diversity, equality, and a strong sense of community in our state.

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.