The city of Santa Clarita Human Relations Roundtable released a statement recognizing Juneteenth, which commemorates the freeing of enslaved African Americans in the Southern states of the United States of America.
The full statement bellow:
“‘This important date reflects the continued pursuit of a more perfect Union and the Roundtable’s continued promotion of equality, inclusion and the celebration of diversity in the Santa Clarita Valley,’ according to Jeffrey Thompson, the Roundtable’s Communications co-chair and member of the Executive Committee of the Santa Clarita Valley NAACP.
The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Lincoln on January 13, 1863, and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, formally abolishing slavery, was ratified in 1865.
It took until June 19, 1865, for word of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach the Southwestern states, completing notice to all former Confederate States.
For over 150 years, African Americans have celebrated this date.
The Human Relations Roundtable (HRR), a volunteer group of citizen representatives seeking to improve race relations, celebrate diversity and promote inclusion within the Santa Clarita Valley, joins with our African American neighbors to recognize the importance of this day in American history.”
“Troops led by U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to take command of the Headquarters District of Texas on June 18, 1865. Granger issued General Order No. 3:
‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.’
The Order served to free enslaved people in the Southwestern states, but the racist and stereotypical language in the last line foreshadowed the long march to equality.
The Order also served as a catalyst for many of the systemic and institutionalized barriers that remain present to this day.
While great strides have been made, the United States is still challenged today with ensuring the civil rights of all its citizens.
The Santa Clarita Human Relations Roundtable was charged by the city of Santa Clarita with improving race relations and celebrating diversity.
We recognize Juneteenth and the challenges that remain.”