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Michael Steele On The Observance of Juneteenth

June 19, 2010

RNC Chair Michael Steele

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement today:

 
“On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was made official law declaring an end to slavery in the United States. However, for more than two and half years some remained slaves and struggled to survive, grasping on to a glimpse of hope that one day they would be free and truly capable to pursue life, liberty, and legacy as free men and women. It was not until June 19, 1865, the slaves of Galveston, Texas, were made aware of President Lincoln’s executive order resulting in their dream and his finally becoming a reality. This historical day is known as Juneteenth and is celebrated annually as the official abolition of slavery in our country.
 
“Since the founding of the Republican Party, our party has been the natural home for blacks who were committed to helping our society grow both culturally and socially. Whether it was Louisiana Republican Oscar Dunn, a former slave, who less than four years after the slaves of Galveston were freed became our Nation’s first African-American Lt. Governor in 1868 or U.S. Representative John Lynch (R-MS), a former slave, who chaired the 1884 Republican National Convention just shy of the 20th Anniversary of Juneteenth, the Republican Party has a lasting connection to freedom both then and now. During this year’s midterm elections, the Republican Party is proud to have 70 African-American candidates running at the federal, state, and local level to include congressional candidates like Stephen Broaden (TX-30), Isaac Hayes (IL-2), Star Parker (CA-37), and Marvin Scott (IN-7) who have already secured the Republican Party’s nomination.
 
“While Juneteenth is a day of great historical significance to the black community, it is also a day that every American should take pride in as our Nation took an enormous step towards providing equal rights and liberties to all Americans. On behalf of the Republican Party, I hope you will join me today in honoring Juneteenth, and what it has meant for our country’s history.”

 

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