Maryland – Today, June 19th, Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis released the following statement on Juneteenth:
“Today is Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the true end of slavery in the United States, and the emancipation of nearly a quarter-million Americans in Galveston, Texas on June 19th, 1685.
“This year, for the first time in history — Juneteenth is a federal holiday — but let’s be clear, today is more than just a day off. Juneteenth is a reminder of the blight of enslavement at the inception of our nation, the progress we’ve made, and the work we still have to do. Perhaps most importantly, Juneteenth is also a day of celebration — a day to celebrate freedom, equality, and opportunity for all.
“As President Biden said yesterday while signing the holiday into law: “Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. They embrace them. Great nations don’t walk away. We come to terms with the mistakes we made. The truth is, it’s simply not enough just to commemorate Juneteenth… To honor the true meaning of Juneteenth, we have to continue toward that promise because we’ve not gotten there yet.”
“156 years since Juneteenth, and 100 years after the Tulsa Race Massacre, achieving Civil Rights and fulfilling the American promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness continues to be an ongoing struggle.
“To fully live up to the promise of Juneteenth and America, we must build a nation where no one is discriminated against, experiences hate, or is denied basic human rights.
“We need to create equality in our economy, criminal justice system, health care system, housing, education, and more. We also need to ensure that every American has an equal voice, an unencumbered right to vote, and elected officials who will truly represent them.
“The Maryland Democratic Party has been proud to play a small part in this movement, hosting Black Lives Matter Panels to lift up the voices of leaders and activists, and supporting our African-American Diversity Leadership Council in their fight to make Maryland more equal, and more just for all.
“Today is just the beginning, let’s celebrate this holiday together, and rededicate ourselves to this pursuit of justice. ”