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

“Juneteenth, our nation’s second Independence Day, is a day to celebrate freedom, pay tribute to those who paved the way for progress, and recommit ourselves to the fight for true racial equality. It was on this day, 157 years ago, that over 200,000 enslaved Americans in Galveston, Texas finally received word of their freedom. Juneteenth not only marked the effective end of slavery in our nation, but the first significant step toward making the promise of ‘liberty and justice for all’ a reality. Today, we acknowledge that there is still much more work to be done. We must continue to reimagine policing, protect voting rights, review the case for reparations for Black Americans, and dismantle systemic racism to truly honor those impacted by the evils of slavery and build a better future for all.”