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Richmond, Va., has been an epicenter of the controversy. Its most prominent city symbols — a procession of sculpted Civil War leaders — just sparked protests for days. The statues stand near the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where a contemporary sculpture by Kehinde Wiley reminds that Black lives not only matter, they can create powerful, stunning works of art. Wiley, a 43-year-old African American artist, is best known for painting an official portrait of President Barack Obama at the National Portrait Gallery.
After Gov. Ralph Northam announced his intent to make Juneteenth a paid state holiday, Virginians are encouraged to learn about and celebrate the day.
Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865, the day when news of the Emancipation Proclamation made it to the slave-holding state of Texas. That day marked the time when all states received the news that African American slaves were free, officially marking the end of slavery in the United States.