Posted on June 14, 2024

Biden Touts Efforts to Preserve Black History Ahead of Juneteenth

Cheyanne M. Daniels, The Hill, June 10, 2024

The White House on Monday announced new initiatives to preserve Black history just days before Juneteenth.

President Biden recognized Juneteenth as a federal holiday in 2021. The day commemorates when the last enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, learned of their emancipation.

“It’s not about a national holiday or a day off work, it really is to commemorate a moment in time, in our history,” Neera Tanden, domestic policy adviser to the president, said from the White House on Monday.

“We know that history is under attack,” Tanden continued. “There are forces in our country who want to erase aspects of our history … fundamentally, these attacks are about changing our history.”

Under the new initiatives, Tanden said, the White House will work to expand access to Black history.

One way will be through the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will establish a nationwide program that celebrates Juneteenth and promotes Black history and culture leading up to next year’s holiday.

The program will include new funding in all 50 states to support reading and discussion programs, interactive workshops about the legacy of slavery and emancipation, and classroom-ready Juneteenth content for K-12 teachers.