Pelosi Statement on the 156th Juneteenth Celebration

June 19, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement today in recognition of the 156th celebration of Juneteenth, which marks June 19, 1865 when federal officials arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation:

“Juneteenth is a beautiful celebration of freedom for Black Americans, commemorated by millions around our nation for 156 years.  This special day marks an important milestone in the abolition of slavery, followed by complete abolition with the ratification of the 13th Amendment six months later on December 6th.  Over the last century and a half, Juneteenth has also evolved into an opportunity for reflection, calling on Americans to reckon with a history much-stained by racism and tragic injustices that persist today.  That is why, this week, Congress proudly came together in bipartisan, bicameral unity to finally recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday – ensuring that this momentous event takes its place of honor in our nation.

“Moved by the millions who took to the streets to peacefully protest police violence and heartbreaking racial disparities, Democrats remain fully committed to carrying on the fight for justice with renewed urgency.  We are fighting to enact the House-passed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which fundamentally transforms the culture of policing, and advancing the vital American Jobs and Families Plans, which will lift up communities of color as we Build Back Better.  As we confront a disturbing wave of voter suppression around the nation, Democrats are fighting to protect the sanctity of the vote, and we will not relent until H.R. 1 is the law of the land.

“While these bills alone will not erase the stains of centuries of systemic racism, they represent important steps in our nation’s journey toward justice.  As we celebrate Juneteenth, let us renew our pledge to continue our tireless march toward a more perfect union and live up to our nation’s founding promise of full equality for all.”