Nebraska Democratic Party Black Caucus Chair Precious McKesson issued the following statement Friday after President Joe Biden declared Juneteenth a federal holiday:
“As we celebrate Juneteenth, the emancipation of slavery, let’s not forget the struggle we still continue to face as African Americans. Yesterday, President Biden led our country in acknowledging the importance of why Juneteenth is a vital part of history to be recognized as a federal holiday.
“We thank all the elected officials who supported this history-making event. Since the civil rights era of our country, African Americans have had to march collectively to push for federal holidays. It takes African Americans to come together to push our elected officials for stronger legislation that impacts our communities.
“This includes access to quality healthcare, commemorating black history in the school system, criminal justice reform, police reform, voting rights and reparations. This year, we’ve experienced our voting rights being attacked across this nation. By passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, we can ensure that our voting rights are protected and our voices are heard at the voting booth. Sens. Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse have a duty to help us maintain and protect our voting rights. Today we ask that you stand in solidarity to fight injustices against black people and take a moment to reflect on the significance of Juneteenth.“