Pastor Miles McPherson on Juneteenth being made a federal holiday

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – President Joe Biden has signed into official holiday Juneteenth, the day that remembers when the last African American slaves were finally released two years after emancipation.

The last of the slaves were emancipated on June 19 in Galveston, Texas, the date that the U.S. now celebrates Juneteenth.

Pastor Miles McPherson of Rock Church San Diego joined KUSI’s Elizabeth Alvarez to discuss Juneteenth.

“We’ve been free a shorter period of time than we were enslaved. And it’s really not that long ago,” Pastor McPherson said in conversation with Alvarez. “And you know, we have grandparents, great-grandparents who kind of can remember the vestiges of racism and Jim Crow, etc,”

Pastor McPherson added that his grandparents had to move to a different state to get married because one of the grandparents was white while the other was black.

He described that these things are very real, as is freedom, at the same time.

Alvarez asked Pastor McPherson about people who resist making Juneteenth a federal holiday, to which the pastor responded that he had seen many people resist conversations about the past with a lot of energy.

“I would hope and pray that we would put a lot of energy in talking about how we can come together,” Pastor McPherson began. “And you know, we can spend a lot of energy talking about what we’re against, but let’s spend that energy talking about what we’re for. And so if you don’t remember the past, you’re destined to repeat it,” he added.

The pastor emphasized that while America does have 250 years of slavery, it is important to know that, but also remember the day that the slavery stopped.

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