TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New Jersey will now recognize 'Juneteenth' as a state and public holiday.
Governor Phil Murphy signed the legislation Thursday night live on Instagram.
He invited R&B singer and Maplewood, Essex County native SZA as a special guest during the event.
Juneteenth - also known as 'Emancipation Day' - commemorates June 19, 1865, when slaves were liberated.
"It gives me great pride to celebrate emancipation and New Jersey's great diversity by designating Juneteenth as an official State holiday," said Governor Murphy. "Commemorating this date is just one component of our collective approach to end a generational cycle of pain and injustice that has gone on for far too long. Every Juneteenth, we will celebrate the end of the physical chains which once held Black Americans down. While more work lies ahead to undo the oppression that remains, Juneteenth is important marker that reminds us of our mission to create a society that enables our Black communities to achieve the full equality which they deserve."
Live on Instagram, Gov. Murphy signs legislation making Juneteenth state, public holiday
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