Taylor Swift makes Juneteenth a holiday for her staff
© Getty Images

Taylor SwiftTaylor Alison SwiftThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin previews GOP coronavirus relief package Celebrities should steer their star power to get out the youth vote Obama to participate in virtual Stonewall anniversary event MORE commemorated Juneteenth on Friday, announcing that she will give all of her employees the holiday off.

Swift shared a video on Instagram from the publication The Root featuring writer Danielle Young explaining the day's origins as a celebration of the end of American slavery and calling for it to be a national holiday.

On June 19, 1865, Gen. Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation to former slaves in Galveston, Texas, the final state where it was read after first being issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.


“June 19 is not just about freedom but the fight of our ancestors, the determination and the consideration that one day, their children, their children’s children and their children’s children’s children would be free," Young says in the video.

Swift called for the commemoration to be “celebrated as a National holiday,” sharing that she "made the decision to give all of my employees June 19th off in honor of Freedom Day from now on, and to continue to educate myself on the history that brought us to this present moment.”

“For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn’t been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what’s right,” she continued.


Swift’s message comes as protests have broken out across the country over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed in Minneapolis last month after a now-former police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest for nearly nine minutes. 

Swift on Saturday called for statues of Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest in her home state of Tennessee to be removed, saying that the monuments "celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things."

Carmack was a 19th century newspaperman and lawmaker who, Swift said, “published pro-lynching editorials and incited the arson of the office of Ida B. Wells."

Forrest was a Confederate Army general during the Civil War and is known for his role in the 1864 massacre of more than 300 black soldiers at Fort Pillow. He was also the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. 

Carmack’s statue was torn down by protesters last week. Under Tennessee state law, the statue must be repaired and restored to be returned to the state Capitol.