Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement commemorating Juneteenth. Senator Cortez Masto is a cosponsor of a resolution designating June 19th, 2018 as Juneteenth Independence Day:
“On Juneteenth we commemorate the emancipation of the last enslaved Africans and African descendants on U.S. soil and celebrate the fulfillment of independence. Juneteenth marks the end of a painful chapter in our history and celebrates African-American tradition and this community’s vital and vibrant contributions to our country’s culture, history and identity. Today as we honor the sanctity of freedom we must also recommit ourselves to the remembrance of the millions who were forced into human bondage, taking action to challenge the ignorance and cruelty that perpetuated American slavery, and fighting for the liberation of all people still suffering the consequences of systematic oppression.”
Juneteenth commemorates the day the last of the enslaved African and African descendant people in Galveston, Texas were made aware of their freedom – two and a half years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation and more than a month after the conclusion of the Civil War on May 9, 1865.