AURORA, Ill. – In celebration of Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is encouraging local community members to support Black-owned businesses in the district that day.
“Juneteenth honors the ending of slavery in the U.S., but is also a day to celebrate Black individuals and bring awareness to the injustices that Black communities continue to face in our country,” said Hernandez. “As communities continue to stand up against racial injustices and demand change, now more than ever we must use this Juneteenth to acknowledge how inherent racism is in our society, and use this knowledge to move forward with ways to fix systemic issues.”
Juneteenth commemorates the announced ending of slavery by Union forces in Texas on June 19, 1865, years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had outlawed slavery in rebellious territories. Later that year, the ratification 13th Amendment later finally ended slavery in all parts of the country, including areas not initially covered by the Emancipation Proclamation.
Hernandez is encouraging local residents to honor Juneteenth and support local, Black-owned businesses in the area. For a list of Black-owned businesses in and around the Aurora community, individuals can visit the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce site by visiting, http://quadcountyaachamber.chambermaster.com/list/ql/african-american-owned-28.
“We must recognize the racism and inequality that persists across our country and continue fighting for true freedom and justice for all Americans,” said Hernandez. “We all have a part to play in dismantling systemic racism and working for equality. I encourage everyone to continue to stand against violence and injustice, educate themselves on the history of racism in our country and continue to support Black-owned businesses in our community today and always.”