Vice President Kamala Harris described the history of Juneteenth as “the story of our ongoing fight to realize America’s promise – not for some, but for all.” The “story of our ongoing struggle to fulfill America’s promise,” as she phrased it, was told here. On the federal holiday honoring the end of slavery, Harris, the country’s first Black vice president, addressed the gathering at the “A Global Celebration for Freedom” event in Los Angeles.
The event was founded to commemorate abolitionists’ victory in 1865, the year when slavery was abolished in the United States. Harris reminded the audience that “the fight for civil rights must be fought and won with each generation” and recalled a famous phrase from Coretta Scott King while invoking ideas of liberty and justice. King “reminds us that our freedoms will not be permanent unless we, in each generation, are alert to defend them,” according to Harris.
In order to safeguard our liberties, preserve our history, and continue the fight for freedom, let’s band together as Americans. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, two years after Galveston, Texas, slaves realized they had been freed on June 19, 1865. Juneteenth is observed to remember this event.
Although the Black community has long observed and commemorated the day, a larger audience has just recently started to pay attention to it. After Martin Luther King Jr. Day was declared a national holiday in 1983, Juneteenth became the first new holiday in 2021 after President Joe Biden signed a bill that got the approval of every member of Congress.
In addition to Harris’ comments, several performers also took the stage during the CNN broadcast from the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. Among them were Charlie Wilson, Miguel, Kirk Franklin, Nelly, SWV, Davido, and Coi Leray. Chloe Bailey, who is also a singer, paid tribute to the late Tina Turner during the occasion.