Obama Reflects on Significance of Juneteenth Celebration: ‘America Is Not Yet Finished’

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, 124 years after the first Juneteenth celebration, America’s first African-American president commemorated the holiday and shared a message, saying that we are not making amends.

Juneteenth recognizes the day that slaves in Texas were told they were free, marking the total enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth happened on June 19, 1895, more than two and a half years after the document was signed by former President Abraham Lincoln.

Former President Barack Obama shared the story of a painting he had hung in the White House during his time as president.

“Outside the Oval Office, I kept a painting of a small crowd huddled around a pocketwatch, waiting for the moment the Emancipation Proclamation took effect,” Obama tweeted Wednesday. “On Juneteenth, we celebrate the anniversary of that news – freedom – reaching slaves in Texas. And something more.”

Obama acknowledged there were still more measures to be taken to fully eradicate inequality in the country. He accompanied his message with a photograph of him marching in Selma, Alabama.

“On Juneteenth, we celebrate our capacity to make real the promise of our founding, that thing inside each of us that says America is not yet finished, that compels all of us to fight for justice and equality until this country we love more closely aligns with our highest ideals,” he wrote.

Obama made history as the first black president and now three Democrats are looking at becoming the second. Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker shared their thoughts on Juneteenth Wednesday.

“On Juneteenth, we recognize emancipation and honor those who fought and died in the fight to end slavery,” Harris tweeted. “Still, the fight for equality and equity is far from over as Black Americans still face injustice — from our justice system to the ballot box. We fight on.”

“We should use today to honor our history, recommit to balancing the scales and confront the bias that persists in the present,” Booker wrote in an op-ed for Essence.

“We celebrate and remember on this day, because of our ancestors, because of their strength, their indomitable grace, and their relentless hope. On this Juneteenth, we know we cannot pay them back for what they did for us, but we can, and we must pay it forward.”

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Otis
Member

Keep hope alive? More like ‘Keep Hate Alive.”

James
Member

Sounds to me like Barry is going to be standing first in line for the reparations even as a foreign born mulatto and illegitimate POTUS. BTW: did I mention he already has a net worth of over $40 million which he accumulated during his eight years in the WH? Annual pay for that job must be better than advertised.

Screwtape
Member

Yet Obozo, as the first “mulatto” president, fails to acknowledge his own party’s culpability through slave ownership, Jim Crow, segregation, and other racist policies.

He is literally the product of America’s increasing “race blindness”. q.v. identity politics which set American identity backwards. How Dimocratic.

Even Lyndon Johnson used the “n-word” in pushing welfare and other socially-debilitating wealth redistribution.

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