Durbin Statement on Juneteenth Independence Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement in recognition of Juneteenth, commonly known as “Juneteenth Independence Day.” The day commemorates the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War had ended. African Americans who had been slaves in the Southwest celebrated June 19 as the anniversary of their emancipation.


“Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and an opportunity to commemorate the end of slavery in America. But we can't afford to forget the lessons learned from slavery and its lasting legacy on our nation's history. Even after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, African-Americans fought discrimination for decades afterwards. Juneteenth recognizes that struggle and the many accomplishments African Americans have achieved throughout our history, even in the face of injustice. Today is also a reminder that all of us must continue the fight to ensure that equality, justice, and economic opportunity are available to all Americans, regardless of the color of their skin.”