NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) – Some lawmakers want to make sure communities across the state have the means to celebrate Juneteenth.
The bill would create a fund to give money to communities so they can participate in festivals or other events.
A proposed fund could help organize more Juneteenth festivals across the state.
It will be administered by the tourism development department, then those grants will go to local tourism and convention bureaus and non-profit organizations to host Juneteenth celebrations.
Juneteenth has been celebrated in black communities for generations, but President Joe Biden officially declared it a federal holiday in 2021.
It is celebrated when word finally arrived about slaves in Texas being free, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
The fund will help local communities celebrate the holiday in a big way. State funds may also accept gifts.
There is also a bill now moving through Senate and House committees that could make Juneteenth an official state holiday.