Durbin Commemorates Juneteenth

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following video statement commemorating Juneteenth, recognizing June 19, 1865, the date on which news of the end of chattel slavery reached slaves in Galveston, Texas.  Durbin is a longtime sponsor and cosponsor of Juneteenth resolutions, dating back to 2007-2008 when he introduced resolutions with then Senator Barack Obama.

“It was June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger and his regiment arrived in Galveston, Texas, with good news.  The Civil War was over, and all the slaves were now free.  The Emancipation Proclamation was two years old, but the folks in Texas really realized now that the war was over, that it could become a reality.  The day became known as Juneteenth and has been celebrated ever since. 

“Through the years, African Americans turned a time of confusion and resistance into a celebration of community, freedom, and an opportunity to commemorate when all people were finally free in America.

“Now, more than ever, we can’t afford to forget slavery’s legacy on our nation’s history. 

“Juneteenth reminds us that we must continue the fight to ensure equality, justice, and economic opportunity for all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin.” 

Video of Durbin’s remarks is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks is available here for TV Stations.