NATIONAL JUNETEENTH CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP COUNCIL (NJCLC)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JUNETEENTH JAZZ PRESENTERS (NAJJP)
NATIONAL JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN
P.O. Box 269 Belzoni, Mississippi 39038
Sponsors of the Annual
WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance
GALVESTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance
Founder and Host
National Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement – “18th of June”
World Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement – “20th of August”
January 10, 2019
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
1. Issue a Presidential Juneteenth Proclamation;
2. Host a Juneteenth Celebration at the White House;
3. Work with the U.S. Congress to establish Juneteenth as a National Day of Observance;
4. Work with us during WORLD SICKLE CELL DAY, on the “19th of June”, Juneteenth, as declared by the United Nations in 2008, and approved by the US Senate in 2018 to encourage the donation of cord blood stem cells as a cure for sickle cell disease;
5. Conduct a Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremony at the White House.
Dear President Trump:
2019 marks the third year of your historic legacy as President of the United States. This also provides you with the historic opportunity to personally acknowledge Juneteenth as a National Day of Observance at the White House.
As you know, Juneteenth, or the “19th of June”, recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom in the last state in rebellion to allow enslavement, following the end of the Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon the reading of General Order #3 by General Granger, our ancestors, released from the tyranny of enslavement, celebrated jubilantly, establishing America’s second Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African American holiday observance.
Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 45 states. In 2003, the District of Columbia passed legislation to recognize Juneteenth as a district holiday observance.
Since 1997, the U.S. Congress has unanimously passed legislation recognizing Juneteenth for several years. For example, in 2011, Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) sponsored H.R. 323 and Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) sponsored of S.R. 211, “Observing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day“ in America.
We continue to urge you to acknowledge the accomplishments of Americans of African descent during the tyranny of enslavement at the 16th Annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance. As was the case with the U.S. Capitol, the White House was built by enslaved Americans of African descent. Our ancestors have made many significant contributions to the building of the infrastructure of America during enslavement that have yet to be acknowledged.
The leadership of our “Modern Juneteenth Movement” worked closely with former Congressman J. C. Watts (R-OK) in 1996 & 1997 to urge the U.S. Congress to acknowledge the contributions of our ancestors in building two of the most important structures in the history of our democracy. Their building of the U.S. Capitol was finally recognized in 2009 by the U.S. Congress during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. However, the leaders of our grassroots movement, who initiated the recognition of our ancestors, were not even invited to attend the ceremony.
We request that you issue a Presidential Proclamation to establish Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance in America, similar to Flag Day or Patriot Day. Your proclamation will support legislation in the U.S. Congress concerning gaining greater recognition of Juneteenth in America.
We also continue to urge the U.S. Senate, followed by the U.S. House of Representatives, to pass legislation to make Juneteenth Independence Day a National Day of Observance, to be completed by your signature as President of the United States.
America needs healing from the scars of enslavement. The annual observance of Juneteenth in America affords the country a tremendous opportunity to constructively reflect on our legacy of enslavement and move forward as a unified nation. As the leader of our country, your public participation in Juneteenth will be instrumental in bringing all Americans together in a spirit of unity and reconciliation.
The “19th of June”, Juneteenth, has been declared WORLD SICKLE CELL DAY by the United Nations in 2008. The cure for sickle cell anemia comes through the donation of cord blood.
We hope that you will work with us and the World Sickle Cell Federation to encourage the donation of cord blood throughout the nation and around the world.
We held a record number of Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremonies across the nation last year, honoring our black veterans. This especially included the 186,000 colored troops and the 20,000 colored sailors who fought and died for their freedom during the Civil War.
Is it possible for you to host a Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremony at the White House this year?
As president of the United States, we encourage you to join us in the celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day in America!
Steven B. Williams
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation