Twitter to honor Juneteenth as company holiday

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Twitter and Square will make Juneteenth a company holiday, CEO Jack Dorsey announced Tuesday.

The holiday, celebrated June 19th, marks the day Gen. Gordon Granger in 1865 read the Emancipation Proclamation to former slaves in Texas, the final state where emancipation was announced after the proclamation was issued in 1863.

The holiday has been observed among African Americans as a celebration of emancipation since at least 1866 and is recognized as a state holiday or observance in 47 states.

In a pair of tweets Tuesday, Dorsey confirmed the companies would make the day a holiday every year going forward, adding “Countries and regions around the world have their own days to celebrate emancipation, and we will do the work to make those dates company holidays everywhere we are present.”

Several tech firms have taken numerous steps in response to protests that have swept the nation over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

IBM announced it will no longer offer general purpose facial recognition software, saying “We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, said that customers who dropped their support for the retail giant over Bezos’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement were “the kind of customer I’m happy to lose.” 

Tags George Floyd Jack Dorsey Jeff Bezos Juneteenth Square Twitter

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