Juneteenth message from Mayor Ward

Press release from City of Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Gainesville Mayor Harvey Ward released the following statement today:

As our nation commemorates Juneteenth, we take time to observe our local history. People enslaved in the State of Florida were officially freed on May 20, 1865. To mark that date, and place it in the wave of emancipations that ended one month later in Galveston, Texas, we observe in our great city a Journey to Juneteenth. It has been one full month of celebration, experience, and reflection that has connected and educated our community.

Many consider Juneteenth to be our nation’s second independence day. It has gained much national recognition since President Biden signed a bill making it a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. The City of Gainesville is among the first municipalities in our state to codify Juneteenth as a paid holiday for our employees. This is one more way we stand together. As a City, we are fighting injustice, operationalizing equity, and committing to transformational inclusion in Gainesville and beyond.

The hope and strength of the human spirit is awe-inspiring. Juneteenth symbolizes that bend in the road, the turn of a page, the transformation of struggle into triumph.

Join me today in honoring that journey.

  • As Harvey says…..”Juneteenth symbolizes that bend in the road, the turn of a page, the transformation of struggle into triumph.”
    Still waiting to see that transformation. Given the ‘trend’….I’m not so sure?

    • Perhaps begrudgingly he means GRU won’t be robbed of $68 million aka the ‘transfer money’ from here on out….

  • Ironic that our esteemed Mayor is still a high ranking member of an organization that still excludes most blacks and women.

    • They’re included – as long as they pledge fealty.
      Just look at Curry.

      • The organization I’m referring to is one that Ward has been active with since he was a teenager, following in his slumlord father’s footsteps.

  • Hey Harvey, too bad you don’t mention that Democrats voted against the Civil Rights Act and Democrats created the Jim Crow laws. I mean, if you want to talk about history and all.

  • Juneteenth. Poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every 19th of June.

  • This should only apply to Texas. The Dems aren’t even sure of the date hence Juneteenth.

  • Harvey, it is sad indeed when you compare the end of legal slavery with the founding revolution of our country. At that time, EVERY COUNTRY in the world had legalized slavery. Some ended it sooner, some later. Of course our incompetent politicians in Gainesville have to add to the special treatment one single ethnic group, by not only having a day, but rather a full month of celebrating a single day of recognized freedom of 150 years ago. Tell me, Mr. Mayor, why does your political party work so hard to keep our country divided?

    • Rogers Corner, I’d add…..And why does your political party work so hard to keep people enslaved?

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