Mayoral Proclamation Juneteenth 2020
WHEREAS, the first enslaved Africans were brought as captives to what is now the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1619; and
WHEREAS, Black people were bought and sold as slave labor for 250 years and suffered unspeakable acts of violence; and
WHEREAS, President Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation effective January 1, 1863, freeing the enslaved people in the South. However, southern slave owners ignored that order. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas and enforced the president’s order, freeing the enslaved two and a half years after it was first decreed. This day has since come to be known as Juneteenth; and
WHEREAS, other systems of oppression, such as sharecropping, Jim Crow, redlining, and mass incarceration, and the police violence against Black bodies continued throughout our Country’s history and perpetuated the racist legal and social systems that persist to this day; and
WHEREAS, the City Council recognizes the history of racism in our country and how it has led to many current-day disparities in education and job attainment, housing, and healthcare, as well as disproportionate incarceration rates for Black people.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, I, KATE STEWART, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF TAKOMA PARK, MARYLAND, on behalf of the City Council, staff, and residents do hereby recognize Friday, June 19, 2020, as Juneteenth to acknowledge the historical significance of the day and recommit the City to working toward the dismantling of institutionalized racism.
Date this 17th day of June 2020.