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Public Statements

Recognizing 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. On September 22, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation as of January 1, 1863 all slaves residing in the states in rebellion against the Union would be forever free. President Lincoln's bold move changed our Nation for the better and is a defining moment in American history. In honor of this historic moment many organizations from coast to coast are hosting celebrations.

In my district, radio station Classical KUSC, MusicUNTOLD and the Colburn Foundation are partnering together to support a 150th Anniversary Emancipation Proclamation concert. The concert program will consist of solo and duet performances interspersed with spoken texts describing the American journey from slavery to the election of President Barack Obama. The concert will be preceded by a lecture about the music and the Civil War era giving participants a historical context of the inspiring music following.

Featured artists represent a wide range of styles and have appeared on the stages of great opera houses and concert halls worldwide. Artists include tenor George Shirley, baritone Donnie Ray Albert, soprano Latonia Moore, violinist Sanford Allen and Annelle Gregory, violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama, soprano Jammieca Mott, composer-pianist Richard Thompson and pianist Lukas Swidzinski, Polli Chambers-Salazar, and Althea Waites.

In past years, John Malveaux, president of the Long Beach Central Arts Association and a longtime arts promoter who runs MusicUNTOLD and Classical KUSC radio station have presented an annual Juneteenth Concert in Long Beach. Promoting historical awareness through music has been a strong tradition of MusicUNTOLD and Classical KUSC radio stations. I commend their tireless work in the Long Beach community.

Mr. Speaker, the Emancipation Proclamation established a moral strength that reverberates throughout American history. The Emancipation Proclamation was a milestone along the road to slavery's final destruction and has justly assumed its hallowed place among the great documents of human freedom.

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