(Houston, TX) — On Friday, June 17, 2022, Congressman Al Green (TX-09) released the following statement:
“On June 19, 1865, U.S. Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced the liberation of enslaved African Americans in Texas. Although President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery in the United States over two years prior to Granger’s announcement, many Americans still remained in bondage and deprived of their inalienable rights,” Congressman Al Green shared. “More than 150 years later, this day is now recognized across the U.S. as Juneteenth and is annually celebrated on June 19.”
“Juneteenth became a federal holiday last year on June 17, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. Juneteenth celebrates African American freedom, honors African American history and progress, and acknowledges the work that remains to be done in the Black community,” Congressman Al Green continued. “However, Juneteenth is not just a holiday for Black people; it is a holiday for all people of goodwill regardless of their hue. Because Black history is American history, together as Americans we must never forget the era of chattel slavery so we can strive for a society with true equality for all. Unfortunately, the vestiges of slavery and invidious discrimination still linger in our nation today, including in housing, education, healthcare, as well as lending. We owe it to our past, present, and future to do well by our promise of justice and liberty for all.”
Congressman Al Green concluded, “Juneteenth would not be the official holiday it is today without the invaluable efforts of several people. I commend Texas State Representative Al Edwards, affectionately known as the Father of Juneteenth, for introducing and successfully passing legislation as a freshman lawmaker that made Texas the first state to recognize Juneteenth as a paid holiday in 1980. I commend my colleague Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee for introducing the federal bill to establish the national holiday of Juneteenth, which I proudly cosponsored and President Biden signed into law. I also commend local Houston activist Ms. Sandra Hines, who is affectionately known as the Honorary Mayor of Sunnyside, for her tireless advocacy to make Juneteenth a holiday. I invite every person to join me in celebrating the emancipation of African Americans on Juneteenth.”
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