Mayor Steven L. Reed today issued a proclamation calling on the Alabama legislature to make Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, an official state holiday.
“As a state whose history stretches far beyond the Civil War, but one that chooses to set aside three days a year to honor the Confederacy, we must embrace Alabama’s full legacy. Montgomery – along with our sister cities in Birmingham, Selma, and throughout the state – stand as tangible testaments to the uncommon courage and tenacity of the Civil Rights foot soldiers. However, their journey to freedom began in chains and in tunnels on our cities’ main streets. Decades of terror and misery followed, but Juneteenth allows us to commemorate the symbolic and historical end of slavery while reflecting on the long road to racial reconciliation in America.”