Hastings recognizes the 148th anniversary of Juneteenth
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement in recognition of the 148th anniversary of Juneteenth:
“148 years ago, a dark chapter of American history came to a close and the institution of slavery was finally abolished, allowing all Americans to be free.”
“On June 19, 1865, nearly three years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, General Gordon Granger and 2,000 Union troops marched into Galveston, Texas and freed the last slave. In this moment, a new chapter of hope and opportunity was born, and America began the long march towards equal opportunity for all. This great stride was not without difficulty, and was soon cast into doubt with the institutionalization of Jim Crow and segregation. It would take another century, and a civil rights movement unparalleled in history, to realize the cause of freedom for all Americans.”
“Every year, we mark this day to commemorate our nation’s triumph over slavery and our continued struggles against injustice. Because of the countless sacrifices of those in past generations and all who took part in the civil rights movement, the opportunities available to African Americans today are seemingly endless. Though we cannot claim to live in a land free from injustice and discrimination, we can feel immense pride in how far we have come.”
“As we take time to celebrate our common bond of freedom, let us remember our fellow Americans, as well as those serving abroad, who continue to fight for equality and justice for all people. We must never forget where we have come from, and what we can achieve together. Today, I join our nation in the celebration of Juneteenth and pledge to continue to fight for a more perfect union, with liberty and justice for all.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic Chairman of the Florida Delegation.