The Rev. Dr. Ron Myers and other leaders will once again take a campaign crew to Washington, DC for the twelfth time to celebrate Juneteenth and to call on President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to make Juneteenth a national holiday of observance. Will it get through this time?
“We are not asking for a paid federal holiday, which will be a burden on tax-payers, but a national day of observance like Flag Day or Patriot Day,” says Dr. Myers. “We hope that President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress will finally establish a day for the observance and celebration of the end of slavery in America.”
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., founder and chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation has also issued an invitation for Speaker of the House John Boehner to discuss the three-fifths clause during the 2011 Washington Juneteenth National Holiday Observance in the U.S.Capitol. “The omission of the reading of the three-fifths clause during the historic reading of the U.S. Constitution by congress left open the question of the importance of slavery and the significance Americans of African descent made to the founding of America,” says Dr. Myers.
“Because the first Independence Day in the US, now celebrated on July 4th, did not mean freedom for slaves, Juneteenth would serve as an addendum. Black people were still in bondage when America gained freedom from Great Britain with many of our founding fathers owning slaves themselves,” says Rev. Myers. Juneteenth or the “19th of June” recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest.
Rev. Myers is also encouraging state and national leaders to promote reconciliation and healing in observation of Juneteenth.Thirty-nine states already recognize Juneteenth and many members of congress have continuously supported making it a national day of observance.
The U.S. House of Representatives as of yet has not passed a concurring, joint congressional resolution.
According to the petition of this campaign, a presidential proclamation is all that is required for Juneteenth Independence Day to be recognized as a national holiday in America without the burden on taxpayers as a federal holiday. “We hope to have the legislation passed during the week of Juneteenth 2011 with both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate concurring,” states Dr. Myers. “Perhaps the legislation can include a signature by President Barack Obama.”