Press Release ● Human and Civil Rightsfacebooktwitterbirdemail

Hoyer Statement on the Anniversary of Juneteenth

For Immediate Release: 
June 19, 2017
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today recognizing the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth, the oldest, nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States: 

“I join today in observing Juneteenth, when Americans commemorate the end of the brutal and inhuman system of slavery in this country.  On June 19, 1865, word of emancipation reached the last groups of enslaved African-Americans in Texas, and upon hearing the news of their freedom they rejoiced that the prayers of generations had finally been answered.  From that moment until today, the work of atoning for the horrific injustices of slavery continues throughout our country – and it must continue.  The lingering effects of slavery continue to impact this country long after its abolition in the form of wide economic disparities and deep societal traumas.  Racism and discrimination remain deep-rooted challenges for this nation to overcome.  But we shall overcome them – and we must not lose faith in this grand experiment in democracy, or in our own ability to embrace what President Lincoln called ‘the better angels of our nature’ and pursue justice and opportunity at every turn.   

“On Juneteenth, let us embrace the difficult work ahead: to ensure that every child who grows up in our country can access equally the fruits of opportunity; to protect every individual equally under our laws in every instance; and to safeguard every American’s right to have an equal voice in selecting their leaders. 

“I’m proud to stand alongside my esteemed colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus on the front lines of this effort.  This Juneteenth, let us be inspired to achieve new victories that make America truly a shining beacon of freedom.”