On June 19, 1865, the formerly enslaved Black people of Galveston, Texas were among the last people in our country to learn that they were freed from slavery. The news came almost two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had formally declared this freedom.
Juneteenth is traditionally a day of hope and inspiration – a second independence day - with music, readings, and gatherings that celebrate community and recognize the extraordinary contribution our Black brothers and sisters have made to American life. For many, it is also a time a reflection.
As we mark the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth on Saturday, I will take time to reflect on the pain and progress of the last several months, the contribution of so many members of our community who are helping us to do better, and the important work ahead as, together, we address inequity and racism. I hope you will join me.