Newsom, Schaaf Join Oakland in Celebrating the Making of Juneteenth Holiday

NBC Universal, Inc.

Governor Gavin Newsom visited Oakland to highlight the reopening of small businesses, including Black-owned businesses hard hit by the pandemic. 

For many, the timing offered them a chance to reflect and celebrate the bill signing formally making Juneteenth a federal holiday and examine how much more needs to be done. 

Newsom joined Mayor Libby Schaaf in celebrating the reopening and the significance of commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.

“And what a day to reopen, to come back to our incredible small businesses, and especially our Black-owned small businesses on this Juneteenth week,” Schaaf said. 

Juneteenth became a federal holiday Thursday, so what comes next? Many say this opens the door for reparations for African Americans. NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai spoke to Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Professor of Politics at USF James Taylor, for their input about the impact of what seems like decades in the making.

A co-owner of one of those Black owner businesses said the pandemic should be all we need to realize that we are all the same – one people. 

“It’s time for all of us to come together and tell the true story about how we’ll all suffering,” said Tyranny Allen of Beast Mode Barbershop.

And as they cheer the long-overdue recognition of Juneteenth as a federal holiday, Oakland Black business leaders are also urging more entrepreneurs to take risks, have faith and proudly operate their own business. 

“We want to challenge ourselves to create something together, as Black people ,so that we can operate with some level of normalcy,” said a member of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce.

Contact Us