On Friday, Elon Musk announced that two of his best-known companies, the electric-car manufacturer Tesla and the astronaut-launching rocket business SpaceX, would formally recognize a long-standing American holiday. “Juneteenth is henceforth considered a US holiday at Tesla & SpaceX,” Musk, who is CEO of both, tweeted.
The tweet initially was met with praise and enthusiasm. Juneteenth, a celebration of the emancipation of enslaved people in America that falls on the 19th of June each year, has been commemorated in black communities for generations. In recent weeks, as people protest the police killings of black Americans, an array of institutions and companies have weighed in, making a show of wanting to do better—including designating Juneteenth, which is not a federal holiday, as a paid holiday for their employees.