Hoyer Statement on Juneteenth

For Immediate Release:

June 19, 2014

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

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

“I join in marking the 149th Juneteenth and in celebrating the joyous news of emancipation received by those who had been held brutally and unjustly in bondage as a result of slavery in America.  In Maryland and across our country, we reflect on the horrors of slavery and the resilience of those who endured it and survived to live as free men and women. 

“The course of our history has not always reflected the values upon which our republic was founded.  But one of the great attributes of our nation is that those enduring values of its founding continue to inspire movements for change that seek to pry open the doors of oppression and let the light of justice and liberty pour through.  The decision by President Lincoln to make certain that the Civil War ended with the abolition of slavery began a process of national healing that eventually led to the Civil Rights movement and continues to this day. 

“As we celebrate Juneteenth together as a nation, let us continue to seek those dark corners where the legacies of slavery lurk and feed poverty, racism, and inequality in our midst – and let us apply our own hands to the unfinished work of letting freedom and opportunity shine across our land.”  

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