Juneteenth is now officially a federal holiday.
President Biden signed it into law on Thursday, making today Juneteenth’s first federal recognized celebration.
Businesses are closed. Many Government employees have the day off.
The day celebrates the emancipation of black men and women from enslavement in the United States. But that passage of history is not so distant. It is still with us today.
At a ceremony at the White House Biden said quote, “All Americans can feel the power of this day, and learn from our history,” unquote.
And so we turn to Bishop Cecil A. Malone.
In 1980, Bishop Malone suffered an untimely death at the age of 50, but became a towering figure in the Ithaca community known for his kindness, generosity, and courageous acts.
He shares responsibility for whisking black men and women off of an oppressive Jim-Crow sharecropping farm, and up to Ithaca. He provided them with work, housing, and land to farm.
Cecil A. Malone’s children, Eloise Barrett and Amos Malone share the memories of their father with us.
This piece comes from WRFI’s archives, originally airing in 2017.