Jack Dorsey, the CEO and founder of Twitter, has declared a company-wide holiday on June 19 to honour the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed millions of enslaved African-Americans in the 1860s.
In a tweet, Mr Dorsey said the social media giant along with Square, a mobile payment company, will have an annual company holiday for “celebration, education, and connection.”
The June 19 holiday, known as Juneteenth, celebrates the eradication of slavery, in what Americans see as the nation’s “second independence day”.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which ostensibly ended slavery in the US, but it was not until June 19, 1865 that the proclamation was publicly enforced in the US state of Texas.
Mr Dorsey’s announcement comes as the US is reckoning with police brutality and a history of racism towards African-Americans as the death of George Floyd as a white police officer kneeled on his neck shocked the country.
“Countries and regions around the world have their own days to celebrate emancipation,” Dorsey added. “We will do the work to make those dates company holidays everywhere we are present.”
Social media companies have widely declared their support for Black Lives Matter, the national protest movement opposing racism towards black people.