SAN FRANCISO (KTVU/AP) - On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free -- an event celebrated to this day as "Juneteenth."
Outside the Oval Office, I kept a painting of a small crowd huddled around a pocketwatch, waiting for the moment the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. On Juneteenth, we celebrate the anniversary of that news - freedom - reaching slaves in Texas. And something more: pic.twitter.com/kSkLHbfnc3— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 19, 2019
A Juneteenth rally drew a crowd Wednesday on the steps of San Francisco City Hall in support of equity for black city and county workers.
People at the rally said they’re taking a stand to condemn racist and discriminatory practices in city departments against black workers.
According to SEIU 1021, black city workers receive disciplinary dismissals at a rate of two and a half times higher than other workers and are paid less.
"Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, a celebration of freedom began. On this Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to creating a truly equitable SF, where we lift up the voices of the underrepresented and fight for those who have been left behind," SF Mayor London Breed wrote on Twitter.
Two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, a celebration of freedom began. On this #Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to creating a truly equitable SF, where we lift up the voices of the underrepresented and fight for those who have been left behind. pic.twitter.com/abIIftu9Bl— London Breed (@LondonBreed) June 19, 2019
Essence magazine writes, Juneteenth is the day Union Officer General Gordon Granger issued an order to slave masters in Texas to free enslaved Africans.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee who represents California's 13th District, which includes Oakland, broke it down in a Twitter thread including these tidbits:
"The army's declaration marked the beginning of what would truly be the final days of slavery in the United States." She added, "We've come a long way, but we've got further to go to acheive full equality and healing. That's why I'm also proud to support HR40 and am encouraged by today's hearings on reparations."
On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers marched to Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that slavery was abolished. More than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, around 250,000 slaves had yet to be freed in Texas. #Juneteenth— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) June 19, 2019
HR 40 is a bill sponsored by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee to study and develop reparations proposals for African Americans. Essentially this would compensate the descendants of slaves in the United States.
Wednesday's hearing on Capitol Hill was contentious. The reparations issue has not been visited by Congress in more than a decade. It could play a role in the 2020 presidential election as lawmakers fall along pary lines on the topic.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
#Juneteenth reminds us that the fight for freedom & liberty continues each and every day. Generations of Americans fought to end slavery – and generations more fought to end Jim Crow. Now, we recommit ourselves to building a future of equality & understanding.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 19, 2019
On Juneteenth, we celebrate our capacity to make real the promise of our founding, that thing inside each of us that says America is not yet finished, that compels all of us to fight for justice and equality until this country we love more closely aligns with our highest ideals. pic.twitter.com/2XAKRuRrbG— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 19, 2019