Washington, D.C.–Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following statement on Sunday’s celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day:
“On June 19th, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galvaston, Texas to free America’s last slaves and officially end a dark time in our nation’s history. Juneteenth Independence Day has been celebrated throughout the Southwest ever since. It is the day we celebrate the true birth of freedom for all Americans. But it is also a day when we must reflect on the history of injustice that preceded it.
“True progress takes time. The Emancipation Proclamation made slaves free men under the law, but it took two and a half years for slavery to truly end in America. And although many more years have passed since – years during which Jim Crow laws were overthrown, the Civil Rights Act was passed and the first African-American president was sworn into office – there is still work to be done.
“I am proud to stand by the many dedicated Nevadans, including Deborah Evans, who continue the fight for equality today. This year Deborah and a dedicated team of Civil Rights activists helped passed a law making Nevada the 38th state to officially recognize the Juneteenth holiday. Thanks to heroes like her, the quest goes on to ensure that every American enjoys the same opportunities and freedoms – regardless of skin color, gender, income or place of birth.”