The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Executive Director Kevin Roberts, Ph.D., a historian of American slavery and former college president, released the following statement in celebration of Juneteenth:
“Today, much of the nation celebrates the Texas holiday of Juneteenth. Juneteenth formally commemorates the 19th of June, 1865, when General Gordon Granger of the United States Army, having arrived to occupy a defeated Texas, issued his General Order No. 3: ‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.’ Informally, Juneteenth has grown to signify the emancipation of all our African-American fellow citizens once held in cruel bondage.
“The Texas Public Policy Foundation fully endorses and celebrates along with Americans today. Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating a triumph of our common past. It is also a celebration of our common future in liberty. Juneteenth is the proper ending of a society divided by caste, race, and inheritance — and the inauguration, however imperfect, of a Texas fulfilling the vision of the American Founders, where ‘all men are created equal.’
“Here in Texas, we have celebrated Juneteenth for a long time: it has been an official state holiday for the past forty years. Now that the rest of America is discovering it, we Texans encourage you to culturally appropriate our holiday for yourselves — because the ideals that made Texas and Juneteenth great are universal. Texans know that Texas was born as a fulfillment of America: our own Texas Declaration of Independence affirms it. We also know that America gets better with more Texas.
“So, while you’re exploring Texas history and taking some of it for your own, why not spend a little longer and delve into our full heritage and glory? Our Texas Revolution is a direct continuation of the American Revolution. Our last stand at the Alamo is a tale of heroes for all time. Our frontier days, with its pioneers, Texas Rangers, bandits, outlaws, and explorers, is an epic of civilization emerging from wilderness. Our Spanish era, a century of forlorn outposts and intrepid adventurers, left us with a rich heritage of towns and presidios older than the United States itself. And our present day — with Texas the most consequential bastion of freedom, free enterprise, and the American Dream — is a signifier of the bright American future to come.
“Happy Juneteenth. The date is part of the glory of Texas. And because we are Texans — it’s yours too.”