Taylor Swift shared a video that explained the history of Juneteenth and revealed that she’s giving her staff the day off starting this year.
The singer has been growing more and more politically active on social media and recently ramped up her support of the Black Lives Matter movement. On Friday, she took to Instagram to share a video from The Root that explains the history of June 19, also known as Juneteenth.
In the caption of the post, she called on policymakers to allow the date to “be celebrated as a National holiday.”
“Personally, I’ve 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,” the “Lover” singer wrote to accompany the video.
She concluded: “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.”
The three and a half minute video features Danielle Young explaining the history of Juneteenth and the subsequent bloody period of Reconstruction that followed. The date marks the moment in 1865 when Union Major General Gordon Granger led troops into Galveston, Texas, to announce that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves in Texas and every part of the country were now free.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves a whole two and a half years earlier, Texas had almost no presence of Union Troops to enforce the Proclamation. It wasn’t until Granger led an armed presence in the state that slaves were safe to leave their masters, making June 19 a significant day in history for the black community in the U.S.
The star has remained relatively silent on political matters, with a handful of exceptions. However, like many other celebrities, Swift has become more vocal in the wake of the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Minn., that sparked a myriad of protests against police brutality, specifically in the black community, across the country.
She previously took a direct jab at President Donald Trump on Twitter for “stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism” for seemingly threatening to shoot protesters. Days later, she called for systemic changes to be made to fight police brutality and racial injustice.
Most recently, she stood in support of the growing movement to remove statues of Confederate leaders as well as other problematic historical figures from public spaces throughout her home state of Tennessee.
“As a Tennessean, it makes me sick that there are monuments standing in our state that celebrate racist historical figures who did evil things. Edward Carmack and Nathan Bedford Forrest were DESPICABLE figures in our state history and should be treated as such,” she tweeted.