INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today issued the following statement by Robin Shackleford, State Representative – District 98 and Chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, to commemorate the first national holiday celebrating Juneteenth, the day when all Black Americans were emancipated from slavery in the United States of America:
“About 156 years ago, American Union General Gordon Granger arrived in the State of Texas with a set of guidance ordered by the United States Government to bring an end to an era of treatment toward Black Americans that was inhumane, cruel, and simply did not live up to the values set by this great nation. That day was June 19, 1865 and at that moment, Black enslaved people in Texas became the last individuals to be freed from one of the nation’s greatest sins. This day, now known as Juneteenth, came close to three years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
Juneteenth is a day for celebration and the opportunity for every American to reflect on the significance this new federal holiday has on the United States. It’s a holiday of lived experience that forces a thoughtful conversation about our country’s past and history of systemic racism while also showing us what else could be accomplished when elected officials and voters truly live up to the fundamental pillars of equity, equality, and opportunity — all values we understand to be American values and special to our nation. There is still more work to do to help bridge the equity gap for Black Americans, but let us celebrate the new Juneteenth holiday and the large strides the United States has achieved to be a more perfect union.” – Robin Shackleford, State Representative – District 98, Chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus