WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) released the following statement in honor of Juneteenth and the establishment of Juneteenth National Independence Day.

Juneteenth is a new federal holiday marking the emancipation of the last enslaved people in the United States. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, a Union General arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended.

“Over 150 years after slavery was abolished in the United States, we commemorate Juneteenth by recognizing how far we have come in the march towards racial equality and how far we have to go to achieve true Black liberation. Establishing Juneteenth as a national holiday is a significant step forward as we work to breathe truth and reconciliation into our past and present. Now, we must follow this action with further progress by protecting voting rights, reimagining policing, and pursuing reparations for African Americans. Our work is not complete until every person is honored with respect, dignity, and justice.”