During the 2022 legislative session, several of my colleagues spoke passionately on the House floor on why Connecticut needed to make Juneteenth a legal state holiday. The bill received bipartisan support and was recently signed into law by Governor Lamont.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger and his troops traveled around Galveston, Texas, and read General Order No. 3, which proclaimed that enslaved individuals were free following the Emancipation Proclamation - two years after President Lincoln issued it.
As we celebrate Juneteenth and acknowledge its significance in moving this country forward, we must not forget the darkness that accompanied that part of our history. Our country has come a long way, but there is more work to do as inequality and racism still exist.
I will continue to use my platform to fight injustice and make our communities more equitable and inclusive.