(BOSTON – 06/18/2020) The Massachusetts State Senate passed a resolution today commemorating tomorrow, June 19, 2020 as Juneteenth. Juneteenth is an unofficial holiday that celebrates June 19, 1865, the day when the remaining enslaved African Americans in the United States of America were told that they were free.
“Juneteenth or Freedom Day is the day on which we formally recognize the end of the scourge of slavery in America,” said Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury). “Slavery in America was a terrible injustice, the effects from which our nation continues to recover from even today. The resolution that my colleagues and I have signed today is a document which speaks to the continued work that we have ahead of us to end continued racial injustice in the Commonwealth and as a nation.”
The text of the resolution is as follows:
COMMENDING COMMUNITY GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS COMMEMORATING JUNE 19 AS JUNETEENTH.
WHEREAS, MANY COMMUNITY GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS ARE COMMEMORATING JUNE 19, 2020, AS JUNETEENTH; AND
WHEREAS, ON JUNE 19, 1865, MAJOR GENERAL GORDON GRANGER ISSUED GENERAL ORDER NUMBER 3 TO INFORM THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS THAT THE CIVIL WAR HAD ENDED AND THAT ALL ENSLAVED PEOPLE WERE FREE; AND
WHEREAS, THIS ENFORCEMENT OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION MARKED THE END OF SLAVERY IN EVERY STATE; AND
WHEREAS, TO COMMEMORATE THIS SIGNIFICANT EVENT, OBSERVANCES AND CELEBRATIONS ARE HELD ON AND AROUND JUNE 19 EVERY YEAR; AND
WHEREAS, JUNETEENTH, AS THE DAY CAME TO BE KNOWN, IS THE OLDEST KNOWN CELEBRATION COMMEMORATING THE END OF SLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES; AND
WHEREAS, JUNETEENTH HAS BECOME A DAY TO RECOGNIZE AFRICAN AMERICAN EMANCIPATION AND TO CELEBRATE AFRICAN AMERICAN ACHIEVEMENTS; AND
WHEREAS, IN THIS NATIONAL TIME OF RECKONING AND REFLECTION, ALL RESIDENTS SHOULD USE THIS OCCASION TO LISTEN, LEARN AND CELEBRATE AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND HERITAGE; NOW THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, THAT THE MASSACHUSETTS SENATE JOINS IN THE COMMEMORATION OF JUNETEENTH AND ENCOURAGES ALL RESIDENTS TO APPROPRIATELY RECOGNIZE THIS HISTORIC DAY; AND BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED, THAT A COPY OF THESE RESOLUTIONS BE TRANSMITTED FORTHWITH BY THE CLERK OF THE SENATE TO COMMUNITY GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS COMMEMORATING JUNETEENTH.
All 40 members of the Massachusetts State Senate signed on the resolution.