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Today is Juneteenth

Today is Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, commemorating the emancipation from the Confederacy of the last enslaved African Americans .

Even though Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in September, 1862, slavery wasn't formally abolished in the United States until nearly three years later.

Union troops arrived in Texas on June 18, 1865 – two months after Lincoln was assassinated – to reestablish federal control over the state. The following day, Major General Gordon Granger officially emancipated Texas's 250,000 enslaved people, ending legal slavery in the reunified United States.

Despite the end of slavery, the oppression of Black Americans has institutionalized in every aspect of American life, from policing to housing to education to health care. We have a lot of work to do to untangle the deep-rooted racism in our nation's DNA and we must all do our part.

In the aftermath of George Floyd's murder, millions of Americans have come together to demand justice for Black and Brown Americans facing oppression. I've co-sponsored and voted for a bill that is now law, to make Juneteenth a national holiday, and we passed the Justice in Policing Act in the House to address systemic racism in policing.

On this Juneteenth, let us celebrate the vast contributions of the Black community to America's success. Let us confront the history of racism in America and work together to put an end to it. Let us lift up the voices of black heroes, scientists, scholars, artists, educators, inventors, writers, and other leaders whose achievements have been ignored or covered up. We must teach our children this history and prepare them to do better than we have so far.


P.S. On this Juneteenth, please consider supporting these frontline groups fighting for racial justice and equality. Read more about these organizations and chip in to fuel their work!

Posted on June 19, 2021.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

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