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Maloney Statement Celebrating Juneteenth

Jun 19, 2020
Press Release

Maloney Statement Celebrating Juneteenth

Newburgh, NYRep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) released the following statement in celebration of Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States:

“Juneteenth is a living memorial that empowers the sustained struggle of Black Americans - it has been 155 years since the Union Army arrived in Texas with the news that enslaved Americans would be freed from the chains of captivity. But, today, it’s all too clear those chains still exist in the form of systemic racism and discrimination.

“As our society works to heal and grow from the trauma of our past, I challenge every American to take this opportunity to reflect on where we have been as a nation and realize a better future. Today and every day, we should honor the vitality of Americans, stand against bigotry, and continue to demand justice.”

On June 19th, 1865 – two and a half years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee – enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom from Union General Gordon Granger. Juneteenth, celebrated annually on June 19th, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, and is recognized as a state holiday in nearly every state. It is not yet a federal holiday.

Rep. Maloney is an original cosponsor of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which will recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday. He is also a cosponsor of a resolution recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth.