June 24, 2021

Juneteenth — America’s Celebration of the End of Slavery — to be Celebrated Sunday, June 19

*Editor’s Note* – What end of slavery?

Project 21 Joins Those Calling for the Appreciation of and Continued Advancement of Freedom

Obama White House Strangely Silent for Eighth Year, Despite Calls that it Issue Some Form of a Commemorative Proclamation for Juneteenth, Joining 43 States and the Bush White House


Washington, D.C.Sunday, June 19, marks “Juneteenth,” the anniversary of the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, who carried with them the news that the Civil War was over and that slavery had been abolished by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation two-and-a-half years earlier.

According to the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation, 43 states now recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or special day of observance, and the U.S. Senate established June 19 as Juneteenth Independence Day on June 19, 2015. (The states not recognizing Juneteenth in some form are Hawaii, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Arizona and Montana.)

Juneteenth commemorates the anniversary of the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. The soldiers carried with them the news that the Civil War was over and that slavery had been abolished through President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which took effect January 1, 1863.

The annual commemoration of this date, which became known as Juneteenth, quickly became a stabilizing and motivating presence in the lives of the African-Americans who lived in Texas and faced the many uncertainties associated with their newly-acquired freedom. The observance quickly spread from Texas to other black communities across the United States.

Juneteenth is celebrated in many ways, but education and self-improvement have been consistent themes at commemorative community gatherings and picnics. In 1980, Juneteenth was made an official holiday in Texas. Juneteenth had been recognized by President George W. Bush in special presidential messages, but,President Obama has yet to personally acknowledge Juneteenth at the White House.

The National Juneteenth Observance Foundation has repeatedly contacted the Obama White House. On May 19, it sent one of many requests asking that President Obama “issue a Presidential Proclamation to establish Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance in America, similar to Flag Day or Patriot Day.”

Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder and Chairman of the group, has explainedthe importance of noting Juneteenth accordingly: “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 the leader of our country, your public participation in Juneteenth will be instrumental in bringing all Americans together in a spirit of unity and reconciliation.”

The National Juneteenth Observance Foundation has expressed its frustration with President Obama on the matter of Juneteenth on a web page, noting that then-Senator Barack Obama supported Juneteenth legislation as a Senator, has done nothing as President, despite issuing proclamations for LGBT Pride Month, Cinco de Mayo, Greek Independence Day, National Ovarian Cancer month, Patriot Day and Flag Day, and more. It has repeatedly urged the White House to acknowledge Juneteenth in some form.

Project 21 members have been commemorating Juneteenth annually for nearly twenty years. This year, three of them have official statements.

Project 21’s Emery McClendon says of Juneteenth:

Black fathers can carry the torch this Sunday by showing why it is important that the end of slavery is celebrated on this day. By stressing to their sons and daughters the importance of Freedom, Liberty, and the American Dream, we can look back, but also dream about our future.

The chains and shackles have been removed since that day, and we need to take advantage of each opportunity that America offers us to succeed.

The American dream is not franchised to any group of people. Hard work and a will to succeed needs to be the goal of those who value this historic day.

Look forward, and thank God for the opportunity of living in such a great nation.

Project 21’s Nadra “Cap Black” Enzi adds:

Juneteenth reminds me that African and American captives did their jobs against an uphill climb as steep as any in recorded history.

It reminds me of the countless biographies of past peak performers who didn’t have government assistance, and, in fact, contended with government as little more than an open enemy in many cases.

I’m a citizen of the eternal NOW, emboldened to realize my potential in a far better environment than what met these captive Africans and Americans, who fought that uphill fight so I wouldn’t have to fight as hard today.

My question is why aren’t modern Blacks fighting as hard to realize their potential, against admitted contemporary odds, today?

And Project 21’s Ted Hayes has another take, which could be headlined, “Juneteenth or the Fourteenth?”:

Today, in this historic, unprecedented, political year of 2016, in which the two major political parties are seeking the presidency, the most important “teenth” that we descendants of chattel slaves – Jim Crow survivors, i.e., black lives, U.S. citizens, is that of the Fourteenth, being the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The 14th Amendment is the national, birth and identity certificate that the U.S. federal government is systematically pirating away to foreign and domestic elements to whom it does not belong.

If this rogue federal action is not ceased, it will eventually render black lives inconsequential within this nation of immigrants built upon backs of our chattel-enslaved ancestors.

Apart from ending slavery (April 1865), and setting into the Constitution, its abolishment (December 1865); granting the freed chattel slaves, et al, and their descendant children citizenship “as is enjoyed by white citizens” (1866-68); and granting the new citizen class the authority to vote (February 1870); black lives have been granted many and various extraordinary special attention which has availed us nothing but worse conditions.

Ranging from the disastrous 1964 Civil Rights Act, to Affirmative Action, Black History Month, MLK National Holiday, special television and movie programs such as Roots, Twelve Years A Slave, etc., and of course, Juneteenth, is not working to advance our cause in this nation.

As long as we black lives don’t claim and enforce our national birthright certificate of the 14th Amendment founded upon the 1866 Civil Rights Act, Juneteenth, et al means nothing but smoke in our eyes.

* * *

Project 21 has been a leading voice of black conservatives since its founding in 1992. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life. Individual comments by Project 21 members represent the opinion of that member. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked for the use of Project 21.

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Black Americans Must Defend, Enhance Their Freedom

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Juneteenth Emancipation Anniversary Offers Chance to Assess How Government Infringes on Rights, Opportunities

WASHINGTON, DC — On “Juneteenth,” the oldest and most-popular observance of the end of slavery in the United States, members of the Project 21 black leadership network call upon their fellow black Americans to use the civil rights-themed holiday as a tool to assess how they can take full advantage of the freedoms and opportunities their predecessors lacked.

They also call upon all Americans to consider how their liberties must be secured against an ever-expanding government policies that can limit them.

Juneteenth, now an official holiday or observance in at least 40 states, is Friday, June 19.

“Because of their attitudes, thoughts and behaviors — in addition to corresponding political loyalties — blacks today willingly volunteer themselves to an emotional, intellectual and spiritual form of slavery. Though physically free, this current bondage has seen blacks forfeit almost every aspect of their lives to government control,” said Project 21 member Derryck Green, a doctoral candidate living in the Los Angeles area. “By faithfully supporting big-government policies that diminish, control and deliver sub-standard opportunities for blacks as well as increase the black underclass, destroy families and encourage dependency, blacks are ceding their freedom to the same sort of oppressive control that slaves escaped 150 years ago.”

Juneteenth commemorates the anniversary of the arrival of Union troops in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. Those soldiers informed residents there that the Civil War was over and that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had already abolished slavery two-and-a-half years earlier.

In the years that followed, Galveston’s former slave population celebrated their newfound freedom on the anniversary of this day. The event became known as Juneteenth. The commemoration became a stabilizing and motivating presence for black Texans who experienced new uncertainties associated with their release from bondage and their integration into American society.

The observance of Juneteenth, and the event’s emphasis on self-improvement and advancement, soon spread from Texas to be recognized in communities across the United States. While Juneteenth is often celebrated as a festive event with picnics and parades, there is still an emphasis on self-improvement and education that is considered an integral part of the overall observance.

“As Americans, we relish any opportunity to celebrate freedom — and the festivities surrounding Juneteenth are no exception,” said Project 21 member Stacy Washington, a radio talk show host in St. Louis. “As we gather in fellowship, let’s extend our focus to include fresh ideas and viewpoints such as school choice and a smaller, less intrusive government. As a minority group, blacks have made fantastic achievements. Yet those gains are slipping away as more and more children are born out of wedlock and present black fathers are a rare commodity. This Juneteenth, let’s resolve to reverse that trend.”

With public attention currently focused on the size and scope of government and its intrusion into daily life and peoples’ privacy — be it government surveillance tactics, expanded police power or regulatory mandates that often disrupt business and personal affairs — Project 21 members are suggesting black Americans pay special attention to how freedom and opportunity may be at risk because of government overreach. They should also consider what they can do — by themselves or by working with others — to bring about reform that will increase and protect freedom.

“After 150 years of freedom from racial oppression, including 50 years of massive government intervention and entitlements, this anniversary of Juneteenth might best be spent in collective discussions among black Americans about what things continue to retard full participation in the American way of life,” said Project 21 member Joe Hicks , a former executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Los Angeles resident. “The Great Society programs launched by white liberals produced millions of government checks and amounted to the most ambitious redistribution of wealth in the nation’s history. But what if this and other liberal efforts such as minimum wage laws and affirmative action actually hurt black Americans’ aspirations? After all these efforts, there is persistent black joblessness and poverty, a yawning black-white learning gap and shocking black-on-black homicide levels in cities such as Baltimore and Chicago. This June 19th, given the cultural and political crisis that haunts black communities nationwide, perhaps Juneteenth discussions should be about the extent of harm caused by government programs and handouts.”

“Blacks must realize our basic freedoms have never been more under attack in the modern era than they seem to be now,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin, a Navy veteran from suburban Washington, D.C. “Blacks suffered the brunt of the Great Recession and were left behind by a jobless recovery, yet it is the progressives who oversaw this debacle who claim to have our best interests at heart. Black conservatives must be like those Union soldiers of 150 years ago in bringing word that blacks no longer need to unquestionably embrace progressive policies. They need to teach that, through conservative tenets of self-reliance and educational choice, we can achieve and maintain our freedom.”

“In the spirit of Juneteenth, I rededicate myself to the one freedom I’ve defended my entire life: the freedom to be safe from private thugs and overreaching government,” said Project 21 member Nadra Enzi, a community policing activist living in New Orleans. “I rededicate myself to trying to preserve my small strand of the legacy which sustained American blacks that now seems all but unraveled in too many communities. The lesson Juneteenth teaches me is that freedoms are ours to safeguard or lose. I choose to guard my freedoms — starting with safety!”

In 2014 and 2015, Project 21 members have thus far been interviewed or cited by the media over 2,500 times — including on TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh — on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).

Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Juneteenth Emancipation Anniversary Doubles as Call for Reform of Big Government Policies Limiting Liberty, Pinching Privacy

Black Activists Suggest People Assess Extent of Their Freedom

Washington, DC – On “Juneteenth,” the oldest and most-recognized observance of the demise of slavery in the United States, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are suggesting that black Americans make a personal assessment of how much freedom they actually enjoy these days and how they may be able to expand upon that freedom in the future through limits on government expansion.

Juneteenth, an official holiday or observance in at least 40 states, is on June 19.

“For what began as a celebration of black Americans’ release from chattel slavery, Juneteenth is important to remember today because all Americans forget at their peril that freedom doesn’t come for free,” said Project 21’s Stacy Swimp , a frequent speaker at and sponsor of past Juneteenth celebrations in Michigan. “More than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln, slavery still exists in America today in the form of too many Americans who suffer from a social, moral, economic and spiritual bondage springing forth from expanding government and entitlements and offers of false salvation. This new slavery robs people of their God-given and constitutionally-protected freedoms, and Juneteenth should be a time to reflect on this crisis and begin to take that freedom back.”

Juneteenth commemorates the anniversary of the arrival of Union troops in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865. Those soldiers informed residents in the area that the Civil War was over and that President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had already abolished slavery two-and-a-half years earlier.

Galveston’s former slave population began celebrating their freedom on the anniversary of this day in an event that became known as Juneteenth. The commemoration became a stabilizing and motivating presence among black Texans experiencing new uncertainties associated with their newfound freedom and their full integration into American society.

The observance of Juneteenth and the event’s emphasis on self-improvement and advancement soon spread from Texas to be recognized in communities across the United States.

While Juneteenth is often celebrated with festive event such as picnics and parades, there is still an emphasis on self-improvement and education that is considered an integral part of the observance.

“As a child growing up in Fulshear, Texas, Juneteenth was always a festive day to remember the good news received in nearby Galveston in 1865. It was the opportunity to make good on the dreams of freedom envisioned by newly-freed slaves. I was always told to remember the sacrifices of those who came before me,” said Project 21’s Carl Pittman “It is unfortunate, however, that many blacks simply moved from one plantation to another over 149 years. An entitlement mentality has removed the sense of pride that was once so dominant in the black community. Government expands to keep up with the growing demand for entitlements, essentially becoming a new slavemaster by providing free health care, food, cell phones, housing and more. Too many blacks over the generations have become so dependent they cannot leave this new plantation, and thus they will continue to support an ideology that will eventually and undoubtedly fail them.”

At a time when there is widespread concern over the size and scope of government and its intrusion into daily life and peoples’ privacy, members of Project 21 suggest that this year’s observance include extra attention to how freedom may be at risk and what people can do, by themselves or working with others, to reform government policies that limit their freedom.

“At a time when there is widespread concern over the size and scope of government and its intrusion into our daily lives, I suggest this year’s observance include extra attention to how we as a people are truly free,” said Project 21’s Gregory Parker, a former county commissioner in Comal County, Texas.

In 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media over 800 times — including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh — on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer membership comes from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank established in 1982. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated .

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