Alabama Proposes State Holiday Choice: Juneteenth Or Jefferson Davis’ Birthday


Alabama House Bill 367, sponsored by Chris Sells, proposes to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday in Alabama.

Under this bill, state employees would have the option to observe either Juneteenth or Jefferson Davis’ Birthday as a day off.

Importantly, the bill does not increase the total number of paid holidays for state employees, which currently stands at 13.

The introduction of Bill 367 comes amidst ongoing debates regarding the recognition of Juneteenth and the celebration of Confederate figures in Alabama.

While some argue for the addition of Juneteenth as a new holiday or the replacement of Davis’ birthday with Juneteenth, others, like Rep. Chris England, stressed the need to move away from honoring Confederate symbols.

England expressed his opposition to celebrating Jefferson Davis, citing the problematic nature of commemorating a figure associated with racism.

However, the proposed bill has garnered criticism for its approach.

Critics argue that by allowing the option to observe Jefferson Davis’ Birthday alongside Juneteenth, the state fails to fully confront its history of racism and oppression.

Instead, they advocate for unambiguous recognition of Juneteenth as a celebration of freedom and the end of slavery.

In summary, Alabama House Bill 367 presents a complex and contentious issue regarding the recognition of Juneteenth and the commemoration of Confederate figures.

As debates continue, the bill highlights broader discussions surrounding historical symbolism and the path towards racial reconciliation and equality.