June 19, 2022
VIDEO: Rep. Pressley Commemorates Juneteenth on House Floor
“From the heart of Texas to kitchen tables in Roxbury, we celebrate the dedicated
coalition of Black folks who organized to make this celebration a federal holiday.”
“Black Lives Matter. Black Healing Matters. Black Joy Matters.”
WASHINGTON – In a joyful speech on the House floor, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) commemorated Juneteenth as a day of remembrance and celebration of Black joy and emancipation. The Congresswoman’s speech comes during the second year the holiday has been federally recognized.
Throughout her time in Congress, Rep. Pressley has championed policies to address the harmful legacy of slavery and support the true liberation of Black America, including Baby Bonds, a People’s Justice Guarantee, student debt cancellation, addressing the Black maternal morbidity crisis, supporting Black-owned microbusinesses, promoting anti-racist public health policy, and more.
On Juneteenth in 2020, Rep. Pressley published an op-ed in WBUR calling for a Juneteenth federal holiday, and in 2021, she wrote in The Root about true healing and liberation for Black students.
A full transcript of her remarks is available below and the full video is available here.
Transcript: Rep. Ayanna Pressley Commemorates Juneteenth on House Floor
U.S. House of Representatives
June 19, 2022
My family and I have celebrated Juneteenth for decades, but this year marks only the 2nd year that Juneteenth will be observed as a federal holiday.
Some may wonder, what is the significance of this day and why is national recognition long overdue and notable?
It matters, because as we celebrate Juneteenth—the emancipation of my enslaved ancestors—it is a truth-telling reminder of our nation’s history and founding, but also of what is possible.
When enslaved Black people and allies began the work of abolition, many considered the goal of freedom an improbable or impossible one.
But because of their imaginations and sacrifice, it did happen.
And while we recognize that our fight for equity and justice continues today, on this day, we celebrate the Black family, our culture, melanin, resilience, brilliance, and our joy.
We affirm our humanity. We are more than hashtags, sobering statistics, deficits, disparities, and gaps.
We are more than our labor, the resistance, and justice-seekers.
From the heart of Texas to kitchen tables in Roxbury, we celebrate the dedicated coalition of Black folks who organized to make this celebration a federal holiday.
Black Lives Matter. Black Healing Matters. Black Joy Matters.