Hawaii is on the verge of becoming the 49th state to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday, according to NBC News.
The state’s House and Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make June 19 a state holiday. Juneteenth observes the end of slavery in the United States.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige has not made clear if he plans to sign the bill into law. If he does, South Dakota would be the only state in the nation that doesn’t recognize June 19 as a state holiday, NBC News reported.
The founder and director of the Popolo Project, a Hawaii-based nonprofit organization that explores Blackness in Hawaii, told NBC that the bill would honor Black Hawaiin’s ancestors.
“There’s a recognition that we’re here and that we’re part of Hawaii,” Akiemi Glenn told NBC News.
The renewed push to recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or national day of observance began last year following the racial uprising denouncing police brutality and inequality in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.