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It's 'important': Tina Knowles-Lawson says Beyoncé, Solange 'always' celebrate Juneteenth

·3 min read

Juneteenth may have gained recognition after the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following high-profile police killings in 2020, but the holiday has always been celebrated in the Knowles household.

Tina Knowles-Lawson, the 67-year-old mom of Grammy award winning artists Beyoncé and Solange, said she's celebrated Juneteenth "ever since I could remember."

"My kids celebrate the 19th of June," she said on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday. "They always have and they always will."

Juneteenth commemorates the day enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, discovered President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved African Americans in rebel states 2½ years earlier. The day is also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day and is celebrated on June 19.

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"When I was a child… we always celebrated Juneteenth. It was a day that you went to the beach," the Galveston native said. "It's always been a very important holiday."

Knowles-Lawson said her parents taught her it was an "honor to be a Black person," which she passed down to her daughters.

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"I was careful to impart that message to my children as well to surround them with African American art and images that they didn't obviously see on TV or around as much as they should have," she said. "That's up to us parents to impart that knowledge to our children and pass it on."

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Tina Knowles-Lawson, the 67-year-old mom of Grammy award winning artists Beyoncé, left, and Solange, right, said she's celebrated Juneteenth "ever since I could remember."
Tina Knowles-Lawson, the 67-year-old mom of Grammy award winning artists Beyoncé, left, and Solange, right, said she's celebrated Juneteenth "ever since I could remember."

Knowles-Lawson said she was "surprised" many people weren't familiar with Juneteenth when she moved to California in the 70s. She said she believes "a lot of history (has) kind of been hidden," a fact she's trying to change through her partnership with Facebook to educate people on the holiday.

"Everyone needs to know the truth. This is not the only history that’s been either overlooked, changed and rewritten," Knowles-Lawson said, noting the 1921 Tulsa race massacre and the 1923 Rosewood massacre.

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The U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday to recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday. It passed with unanimous consent without a roll call vote or objections from the chamber.

The Juneteenth National Independence Day Act heads to the House for approval. If it passes and President Joe Biden signs it into law, every federal employee will be granted a day off to commemorate June 19, 1865.

Contributing: Chelsey Cox

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Juneteenth: Tina Knowles-Lawson says her kids 'always have' celebrated

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