FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (4/26/02)
Contact: Sadie Roberts-Joseph, Director
Louisiana Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., National Chairman
National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
web sites: www.19thofjune.com
LOUISIANA JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY BILL
MAKES PROGRESS IN BATON ROUGE
(Baton Rouge, LA) - Louisiana may become the next state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, was in Baton Rouge this week to rally support to make Juneteenth a holiday in all fifty states. This campaign is not advocating for Juneteenth to become a paid state or federal holiday, but as a National Holiday Observance, similar to Flag Day.
State Representative Sharon Weston Broome (D-LA) has agreed to support legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday in Louisiana. "I organized my first Juneteenth celebration in Baton Rouge in 1991," states Sadie Roberts-Joseph, Director of the Louisiana Juneteenth Holiday Campaign. "It is exciting to see Juneteenth grow in popularity and support as America's 2nd Independence Day celebration."
"Hopefully, Lousiana will become the 8th state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, following Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Delaware. Alaska, Idaho and most recently, Iowa," states Dr. Myers. "Efforts are continuing to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday in America," continues Dr. Myers. "The congress of the United States passed a historic resolution, in 1997, recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day in America."
Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", recognizes June19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest. This was the last major vestige of slavery in the United States following the end of the Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and enforced by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon the reading of General Order #3 by General Granger, on the "19th of June", 1865, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's 2nd Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African-American holiday observance.
"We are collecting 1 million signatures on petitions urging President Bush to issue a Presidential Proclamation to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday Observance," states Dr. Myers. "As the former Governor of Texas, where Juneteenth began as a paid state holiday in 1980, President Bush should understand the historic opportunity Juneteenth represents to bring all Americans together to promote greater understanding of freedom, racial reconciliation and healing."
The 3rd Annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2002 National Holiday Observance, June 13-19, 2002, at the Lincoln Memorial, National Mall and U.S. Capitol, will include a historic 1st Annual National Juneteenth Black Holocaust Memorial Service at the Lincoln Memorial, on Saturday, June 15th, beginning at 1:00pm. The theme of the memorial service, known as the "MAAFA" (Kiswahili term for "Disaster" or "Terrible Occurrence"), is "A Time to Heal & A Time to Pray."
"America needs healing from the legacy of slavery," states Rev., Dr. Myers, also Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC). "The MAAFA service will coincide with our 3rd Annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Slavery. It will be a time of repentance and reflection, as we pray for God to heal America from the legacy of slavery."
For information on the Louisiana Juneteenth Holiday Campaign contact Sadie Roberts-Joseph at 225-343-4411 or 225-355-8086, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on the WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2002 National Holiday Observance and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign call Dr. Myers at 202-331-8864, 662-247-1471, e-mail: email@example.com, web sites: www.19thofJune.com, www.njclc.com or www.njof.org. For information on the 5th Annual National Juneteenth Convention and Expo contact John Thompson of Juneteenth America, Inc. at 909-988-5810, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web site: www.juneteenthconvention.com.