ILA – South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District President Alan A. Robb’s Juneteenth Message
June 19, 2021
June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas announced the proclamation declaring enslaved people of Texas free. This year, June 19, 2021, a mural will be dedicated titled Absolute Equality, a huge 126-foot-long and 40-foot-tall work of art in the historic Strand area of Galveston. The name comes from General Granger’s order stating freedom “involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property.” We still strive for absolute equality 156 years after General Granger brought freedom to Texas’ enslaved population. The artist has created images of President Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad and focuses on the Union “Colored Troops” who were present that day with the General. The mural is a fitting reminder why Juneteenth has become so important, not just in Texas, but nationally and even worldwide. Juneteenth reminds us not only of the tragic history of slavery, which we must never forget-despite the best efforts of some of our politicians- but also the progress AND the lack of progress made for “absolute equality”. As some politicians attempt to impose barriers to voting and economic justice, we as working men and women of good faith, must tear those barriers down. We must be the conscience of our country to not allow the barriers to persist. We use Juneteenth to motivate us to strive for “absolute equality”. We remember.
Alan A. Robb