National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (1/9/11)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
             National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
             662-247-3364    662-247-1471
             web sites:

WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast

Jack Gaines to Bring Message on Biblical Reconciliation

Jack Gaines
Jack Gaines

(Washington, DC) - The National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement will take place on Friday, June 17, 2011, the "3rd Friday in June", including the annual National Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast at the National Press Club and the National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service, at Lincoln Park United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. Diane Dixon-Proctor, Pastor, in the nation's capitol, Washington, DC. A special message on "Biblical Reconcialition" will be given by Jack Gaines, Director of Reconciliation Ministry for the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC).

"America needs healing from the legacy of enslavement," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder and Chairman of the NJCLC. "The annual observance of Juneteenth is an ideal time for the remembrance of the tragedy of the Maafa in America and to pray for forgiveness and healing."

"As the descendents of Americans of African descent, our ancestors were brought to America in chains. This should never be forgotten," states Dr. Myers. "Millions lost their lives during the middle passage, not to mention the thousands killed from lynching and murders before and after the civil war. One ponders as to why so little attention has been given to our own history of death and destruction in America."

History reveals that George Washington was a slave owner. Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner. Many of the founding fathers of America were slave owners. The US Capitol and the White House were built through the uncompensated labor of the ancestors of Americans of African descent during the tyranny of enslavement.

"In response, we have embraced the term 'Maafa', a Kiswahili term meaning 'disaster' or 'terrible occurrence', to tell our own story about our enslavement and the sustained attempt to dehumanize us," continues Dr. Myers.

Beginning in the year 2000, during the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, the "3rd Friday in June" has now been set aside as the date for the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement. The day was established in recognition of former Congressman Tony Hall's efforts to pass a congressional apology for slavery. Dr. Myers, who worked closely with Congressman Hall, learned first hand that America's slave legacy was still a very contemptuous issue for many Americans, who would rather ignore history then embrace the truth.

"Introduced twice by Congressman Hall, the last time on Juneteenth Independence Day, the "19th of June", 2000, we just recently, in July of 2008, received an apology for slavery by congress." states Dr. Myers. "This again demonstrates the need for America to be healed from the legacy of enslavement."

In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation for an Apology For Slavery and Jim Crow sponsored by Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN). Similiar legislation that was passed in the U.S. Senate sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) in 2009, but failed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dr. Myers hopes that legislation will be passed, with both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate concurring.

In January of 2008, New Jersey passed apology for slavery legislation. In 2007, four sates passed similiar legislation, including Virginia, Alabama, Maryland and North Carolina. 26 states, most recently North Carolina in 2007, officially recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or state holiday observance. Dr. Myers, who was formerly appointed National Advisory Chairman of America's Black Holocaust Museum by museum's founder, the late Dr. James Cameron, a lynching survivor, was encouraged by the Senate apology for lynching during the week of Juneteenth in 2005.

"Dr. Cameron taught me the importance of forgiveness, patience and reconciliation by his remarkable life," states Dr. Myers. "It lead to a Senate apology for lynching. Congress continues to demonstrate sensitivity to issues surrounding the legacy of enslavement in America and we pray they will continue to do so."

Dr. Myers has also been encouraged by the actions of French President M. Jacques Chirac who addressed the people of France during a 2006 National Day of Remembrance and Commemoration of Slavery and Its Abolition.

"Please join us in pray and make the "3rd Friday in June" a monumental day of remembrance and healing of our Maafa in America," states Dr. Myers. "We must continue to seek God in prayer for the healing of the nation from the legacy of enslavement."

For information on the National Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast, the National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service, the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement, the WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, contact Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D. at 662-247-3364, 662-247-1471, or e-mail: or web sites:, and


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