CONCORD—Today, Senator Levesque, New Hampshire’s first African American state senator, introduced SB 174, which would establish Juneteenth as a day to reflect upon slavery’s relation to the State of New Hampshire. The Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee voted 5-0 “Ought to Pass” on SB 174 following the hearing.
Senator Levesque released the following statement after the hearing:
“This is Black History Month – a time for us to remember the history of our country, good and bad. For African Americans, July 4th is not the day they became free. Nor was Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. In Galveston, Texas the news of the Emancipation Proclamation did not reach them for two and a half years. Juneteenth recognizes the day those slaves were finally no longer held in bondage.
I applaud Governor Sununu for issuing a proclamation last year that June 19, 2018 would be recognized for a day. However, we must do more. SB 174 will ensure we observe this historic day each year and recognize Juneteenth as the day that ALL Americans were considered free.”