RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper issued a proclamation to commemorate Juneteenth in North Carolina, the oldest known celebration honoring the end of enslavement in the United States.
On June 19, 1865, more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, that Union General Gordon Granger proclaimed the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas, according to a press release.
This proclamation authorized United States Colored Troops to enforce emancipation and ultimately the 13th Amendment in that state, just as they had been in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, a press release said.
“Juneteenth is a reminder that even 155 years after the last slaves were notified of their freedom, we must still fight together for change and champion racial equity. I am committed to making our education, economic, criminal justice, and healthcare systems equal and fair,” said Governor Cooper.
Cooper recently established the North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice to end racially discriminatory law enforcement practices and promote a more equitable criminal justice system.
Juneteenth gives North Carolinians an opportunity to celebrate freedom and honor those who have fought for it, Cooper said.