Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Cohen Commemorates the 152nd Anniversary of Juneteenth

June 19, 2017
Press Release

[MEMPHIS, TN] – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued the following statement commemorating the 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth and recognizing the 24th Annual Celebration of the Juneteenth Urban Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee:

“Each year, Juneteenth is observed on June 19th and is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Juneteenth is a time to reflect upon the end of slavery in America and to recognize the many influences of African American citizens. I am proud to have authored and passed the first Congressional apology for slavery and Jim Crow. While we have made strides towards civil rights for all, there are still lingering effects of slavery and Jim Crow in our society and we must take the actions necessary to rectify the remaining consequences of America’s original sin and achieve equality for all people.

This year marks the 24th annual Juneteenth Urban Music Festival in Memphis. It is fitting that the Juneteenth Urban Music Festival has become one of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the country given Memphis’s rich African American history and culture. Memphis has iconic landmarks such as the National Civil Rights Museum, Royal Studios, and Stax Records, and produced inspirational and talented figures such as Dr. Vasco and Maxine Smith, Velma Louis Jones, Reverend Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Dr. Lawrence Smith, Dr. Linkwood Williams, A.W. Willis, Russell Sugarmon, B.B. King, Al Green, Willie Mitchell, Memphis Slim, Furry Lewis, Ida B. Wells, Isaac Hayes and countless others. I encourage Memphians to join me in observing our nation’s 152nd anniversary of Juneteenth, and I hope you enjoyed the 24th celebration in Memphis over the weekend.”

Congressman Cohen is an original cosponsor of H.Res.386, Recognizing June 19, 2017 as this year's observance of the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day.