On this day June 19, 1865 General Gordon Granger and thousands of federal troops marched through Galveston, Texas to announce the end of the civil war and the end of slavery. So today we commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.

Today we celebrate the rich culture, achievements and contributions of African Americans. Sadly, today as well African Americans are having to continue to fight for equality and equity. So as we celebrate today it is with the full awareness that there is so much more to be done to ensure the equal rights and fair treatment of African Americans on so many levels.

May we all join hands to end racial injustice in our society and discrimination of any kind knowing well that as a nation together we will be stronger.