by Andy Millard
For many of us, Juneteenth is a day that has hovered near the back of our awareness for years. Recent events have combined with serendipitous timing to propel it to the forefront of national attention. That's a good thing. And although our current president played a major part in bringing this about, he deserves no credit for, as he claims, making Juneteenth "famous."
In a very real way, current events are simply an extension of the story of the day. It was two and a half years between Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and June 19, 1865, the date that Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and relayed the news to the formerly enslaved persons of Texas. Similarly, we are now in the midst of an even longer-delayed reckoning surrounding the the meaning of that first Juneteenth and our country's original sin that made it necessary.
The Polk County Democratic Party recognizes that long delay, and we are committed to participating with open minds and hearts in the long process of healing.
President Barack Obama said it best: "Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory, or an acceptance of the way things are. It's a celebration of progress. It's an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible––and there is still so much work to do."
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