NATIONAL JUNETEENTH OBSERVANCE FOUNDATION (NJOF)
NATIONAL JUNETEENTH CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP COUNCIL (NJCLC)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JUNETEENTH JAZZ PRESENTERS (NAJJP)
NATIONAL JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN

Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
P.O. Box 269
Belzoni, Mississippi 39038
662-247-3364     662-247-4767 Fax
www.NationalJuneteenth.com     www.Juneteenth.us


October 14, 2010


U.S. Senate
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-3121

U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515
202-224-3121

Dear Members of Congress:

We cordially invite you to attend the annual Congressional Juneteenth Reception during the week of the WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, June 15-17, 2011. The reception will most likely be scheduled for Thursday, June 16, 2011, beginning at 12:00noon. The host of the reception is Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Chairman of our National Juneteenth Congressional Committee.

Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest, the last major geographic vestige of slavery in the United States 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, the former slaves 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 state holiday observance in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Many more states will be passing Juneteenth holiday observance legislation in 2011. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives first officially recognized Juneteenth in 1997, during the 105th Congress, and continues to pass similar legislation every year.

We would like for Juneteenth to be established as a national holiday observance similar to Flag Day or Patriot Day in 2011. We have requested that President Barack Obama, who has been a great supporter of Juneteenth as an Illinois State Senator and U.S. Senator, issue a Presidential Proclamation to establish Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance.

It is our understanding that the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives must then vote to suspend their rules against the official recognition of a holiday or commemorative day in order to introduce legislation to officially recognize Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance in support of any Presidential Proclamation.

Again, this is our understanding that this was the same procedure that was done to officially recognize Patriot Day as a national holiday observance.

We are again working with members of the U.S. Senate to support the passage of a Senate Apology For Slavery with concurring legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was wonderful to learn of the U.S. House of Representatives Apology For Slavery and Jim Crow sponsored by Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) in 2008 and similiar legislation that was passed in the U.S. Senate sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) in 2009. We hope to have the legislation passed during the week of Juneteenth 2011 with both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate concurring on legislation.

Our first National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement was the result of the second historic introduction of Congressional Apology For Slavery legislation by former Congressman Tony Hall (D-OH) on Juneteenth, the “19th of June”, 2000. As the leader of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America, I was honored to work closely with Congressman Hall on the apology as an important step toward racial healing and reconciliation in America. Since that time, several states have passed apology for slavery legislation including Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and Florida.

We now observe the annual World Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement on the "3rd Saturday In August", August 20, 2011, in Richmond, VA. This commemorates the date the first slave ship, the White Lion, landed in Virginia at Old Point Comfort, today's Fort Monroe, from the shores of West Africa. This occurred on the "latter end of August, 1619", with the arrival of twenty Angolans, America's first Middle Passage.

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 a leader in our country, your public participation in Juneteenth will be instrumental in bringing all Americans together in a spirit of unity and reconciliation.

Our first National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement was the result of the second historic introduction of Congressional Apology For Slavery legislation by former Congressman Tony Hall (D-OH) on Juneteenth, the "19th of June", 2000. As the leader of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America, I was honored to work closely with Congressman Hall on the apology as an important step toward racial healing and reconciliation in America. Since that time, several states have passed apology for slavery legislation including Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and Florida.

We hope that you will support our efforts to establish Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance.

We also invite you to attend the National Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast and the National Juneteenth Black Holocaust “Maafa” Memorial Service which is part of the annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement, held annually on the “3rd Friday in June”, this year on June 17, 2011. The prayer breakfast begins at 8:30am, at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street, N.W., 14th Floor and the worship service at 11:30am, at Lincoln Park United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Diana Dixon-Proctor, Pastor, 1301 North Carolina Avenue, N.E., in Washington, DC.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. We look forward to your continued participation and support.

Sincerely,


Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
Founder & Chairman
National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP)

enclosures

Informational Flyer2011 National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement

Calendar of Events2011 WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance

Informational Flyer2011 World Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement

Flyer"June Is Black Music Month!" - CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH JAZZ - "Preserving Our African American Jazz Legacy!"

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