State Senator Mattie Hunter commemorates Juneteeth Day

HunterJuneteenth2014On June 19, 1865, Texan slaves learned two-and-a-half years later of their pending freedom and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. On the 140th anniversary of their freedom, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) passed legislation designating the third Saturday of every June, Juneteenth Day in Illinois.

Hunter, an advocate for civil and human rights, released the following statement today:

“Juneteenth, the oldest celebration of the ending of slavery, marks freedom for all African-Americans. African-American history is American history. It is Illinois’ history.

“Because of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the Union soldiers who informed southern slaves of their freedom, we now have great African-American leaders like President Barack Obama.

“I passed legislation in 2003 to recognize our ancestors who worked tirelessly to build this country. It served as a reminder of how far we’ve come as a society and how far we need to go. I wanted to ensure that young people were aware of the great struggles, the great triumphs, which have shaped Illinois and the U.S.”

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