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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Biden Bringing Beatty to White House for Juneteenth Signing Ceremony

Jun 17, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Chair of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), will join President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and other congressional leaders at the White House today for a signing ceremony of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, S. 475, a piece of legislation to establish a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

“Black history is American history, and I am proud to stand alongside President Biden and my fellow congressional colleagues in reaffirming that sacred principle,” Beatty said ahead of her visit to the White House. “While we rightfully celebrate this momentous moment today, the Congressional Black Caucus recognizes that the work to build a brighter tomorrow for Black Americans is far from over.” She continued, “’Our Power, Our Message’ remains the same: equity, equality, and justice for all people.”

Earlier in the day, Beatty was on hand to witness the bill’s engrossment, flanked by CBC members and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photos from the event can be accessed on Beatty’s Flickr.

Juneteenth was established on June 19, 1865, more than two years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, when Union soldiers—led by General Gordon Granger—arrived in Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil War was over and all previously enslaved people were free.

The fight to formally recognize Juneteenth has been a decades-long effort that culminated in the broad bipartisan passage of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act yesterday. Prior to the U.S. House of Representatives' historic vote, Beatty called on her colleagues to support the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, exclaiming, “You can’t change the future if you can’t acknowledge the past.”  An archived recording of Beatty’s full speech can be viewed on YouTube