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SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic weekly radio address, Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), Chair of the Select Committee on Boys and Men of Color, commemorates Juneteenth and reflects on the accomplishments African Americans have made on their road to equality, freedom and justice in the United States. For over a decade, California has been celebrating Juneteenth, which was inspired by the news of the emancipation proclamation finally reaching the entire nation two years after the proclamation was issued. Bradford encourages Californians to reflect on Juneteenth as a day to remember the sacrifices that African Americans made for freedom and justice, but also to remember that there is still work to be done for equality.

This week's address is 2:10 mp3

Transcript:

“Hello, this is Assemblyman Steven Bradford, Chair of Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color.

This week, our nation and our state, will celebrate Juneteenth. It is an occasion to commemorate the news of the emancipation proclamation finally reaching our entire union.

On June 19th, 1865, over two years after the emancipation proclamation was issued, news of freedom finally reached slaves in Galveston, Texas. The ensuing celebrations gave birth to the Juneteenth holiday.

What began as a community celebration in a Texas town has spread across the union for almost 150 years.

Juneteenth is a time to reflect on the many sacrifices that our ancestors made to reach freedom. The accomplishments of African-American leaders from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to President Barack Obama would not have been possible without the perseverance of previous generations.

It is important to remember that the fight for freedom and equality for all continues to this day. The struggle for civil rights and social justice is central to our quest for a more perfect union. While Juneteenth is a time to commemorate one giant step forward for our nation, we must recognize that there are many more steps to take on the road to freedom, equality, and justice.

This is why I chair the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. The committee works closely with community based organizations to identify and eliminate institutional barriers that keep many of our state’s young men from reaching their full potential.

All Californians stand to benefit by doing everything possible to ensure that young men of color have the chance to grow up healthy, to get a good education, and make a positive contribution to their communities.

I hope you will join me in celebrating in Juneteenth. It provides us an opportunity to focus our attention on the many contributions made by African Americans in America.

This is Assemblymember Steve Bradford and I thank you for listening.”

Website of Assemblymember Steven Bradford: http://www.asmdc.org/bradford