[Extensions of Remarks]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO
HON. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT
of new york
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Mr. ESPAILLAT. Mr. Speaker, on June 19, 1865, the Emancipation
Proclamation was read by U.S. Army Major Gordon Granger in Galveston,
Texas to slaves who were unaware of the original issuance and reading
by President Abraham Lincoln nearly two and a half years prior.
This day, referred to as Juneteenth, is historic and significant in
American history and marks the date of freedom for the millions of
slaves who were liberated.
This nation was built on the backs of African-Americans. And this
Capitol and our White House, were literally built by the hands of
slaves. It was only 152 years ago that Blacks in America were
considered property and three-fifths a human. Juneteenth serves as a
reminder of the atrocities faced by the African-American community.
In 2017, African-Americans are still discriminated against on an
institutional basis. Black women in New York State take home $0.66 on
the dollar compared to white men. And unarmed black people are killed
by police at five times the rate of unarmed whites.
Despite being enslaved for 245 years and then freed to struggle,
African-Americans have accomplished so much. It is our duty to
acknowledge the ugliness of this nation's history and remain steadfast
in our efforts to ensure equity and equality for all individuals. While
our country has made great strides in race and freedom, there is still
much work that remains to be done.