CLARKE JOINS PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS FOR THE SIGNING CEREMONY OF THE HISTORIC JUNETEENTH NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY ACT
Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), joined President Biden and Kamala Harris for the signing of the historic Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.
Yesterday, in an overwhelming vote of 415-14, the House of Representatives passed S. 475, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act legislation to commemorate Juneteenth, the national remembrance of the end of chattel slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday.
Today, Congresswoman Clarke and Members of a Congressional Delegation joined President Biden and Vice President Harris for the signage of this historic legislation.
“I am so proud to join President Biden, Vice President Harris, and my colleagues for the singing this historic legislation into law. This year commemorates the 156th anniversary of Juneteenth, when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, declaring the abolition of slavery two years after the Emancipation Proclamation and two months after the end of the Civil War. With their freedom, the original sin of the American experiment came to an end, and a chapter— of optimism and promise—opened. Juneteenth’s prolific significance continues to resonate across our global diaspora,” said Clarke. “Whether you are from the Caribbean or Africa, born in America or abroad, Juneteenth marks when many of our ancestors were liberated from bondage. However, the realization that although free, Black Americans continue to face racial discrimination, inequality, terror, and violence is cause for grave concern and a clarion call to action. Juneteenth is more than a celebration; it is a reminder of the plight of enslaved people. We must never forget our ancestor’s sacrifices, and we continue the work in their honor. ”
On June 19th, 1865, the United States’ last remaining enslaved persons were informed of their liberation, more than two years following the Emancipation Proclamation. Over the course of the subsequent 156 years, June 19th became known as “Juneteenth” and has been celebrated and commemorated by untold individuals throughout the world. Today, President Biden signed national legislation recognizing June 19th as “Juneteenth National Independence Day,” creating the United States’ 12th federal holiday.
Yvette D. Clarke has been in Congress since 2007. She represents New York’s Ninth Congressional District, which includes Central and South Brooklyn. Clarke is Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Taskforce on Immigration, a Senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and a Senior Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 17, 2021
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