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The Tradition Of Juneteenth Moves Forward As Talks Of Reparations Resume

Cooper Family Foundation Juneteenth Celebration. June 19 2018

Credit: Courtesy of the Cooper Family Foundation

Above: Cooper Family Foundation Juneteenth Celebration. June 19 2018

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The Cooper Family Foundation has held an annual Juneteenth celebration in San Diego for half a century.

Aired: June 19, 2019 | Transcript

Junetenth marks the day Union Soldiers finally made their way to Galveston Texas to announce the end of slavery, 2 years after it had been abolished. With the end of slavery was the promise of reparations that never materialized.

RELATED: Juneteenth: An American Holiday

In observation of the day, the House of Representatives held a hearing on reparations for the descendants of slaves. H.R. 40 calls for a commission to study and develop reparation proposals. During the hearing in Washington, D.C. National Book Award-winning author, Ta-Nehisi Coates, made the case for reparations citing the 250 years of slavery followed by more than 150 years of oppression.

"It was 150 years ago and it was right now. The typical black family in this country has one-tenth the wealth of the typical white family. Black women die in childbirth at four times the rate of white women. And there is, of course, the shame of this 'land of the free' boasting the largest prison population on the planet of which the descendants of the enslaved make up the largest share," Coates said.

RELATED: Congressional Hearing On Slavery Reparations Set For Wednesday

In San Diego, Juneteenth has been observed by the Cooper Family Foundation for the last 50 years. The annual celebration helps educate the community about the history of Juneteenth. Sidney Cooper of the Cooper Family Foundation joined Midday Edition to talk about how his family started the annual celebration in San Diego and his hope to see Juneteenth embraced by all of America.

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