World Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (8/3/11)
Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
web sites: www.NationalJuneteenth.com
World Day of Reconciliation & Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement
"20th of August", 1619 to be Commemorated
in honor of First Africans Who Landed in America
Rev. Dr. Ronald Myers Leads Prayer for
Reconciliation & Healing from Enslavement
Virginia Juneteenth Jazz & Heritage Reconciliation & Healing Concert
at the American Theatre in Hampton, VA
(Richmond & Hampton, VA) - The 2nd Annual
World Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement will take place
on the "3rd Saturday in August", August 20, 2011, in Richmond, Virginia and Hampton. VA. The Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.,
national leader of the
"Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America and Founder & Chairman of the
National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement, observed
on the "3rd Friday of June", in the nation's capitol, during the annual
WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, will be encouraging people from around the world to pray for
healing from the deep human and emotional scars of enslavement.
"Our annual gathering will commemorate the day the first slave ship, the
White Lion, landed in Virginia at
Old Point Comfort,
today's Fort Monroe," states Rev. Dr. Myers, Founder & Chairman of the
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and the
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC).
"From the shores of West Africa came twenty Angolans, during the 'latter end of August', 1619, completing
"As the descendants 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 and the African Diaspora."
Slave Trail Walk in Richmond, VA at 9:00am, the
Reconciliation Statue, with locations in Richmond, Virginia, Liverpool, England and Benin, West Africa,
will serve as the first gathering point for the first reconciliation and healing prayer service, at 11:00am. The statues were part of
the Reconciliation Triangle Project, linking Europe, America and Africa.
During the unveiling service of the Richmond, VA Reconciliation Statue, Ambassador Segbe Cyrille Oguin of Benin told
1999 President Kerekou had launched a program of reconciliation between Africa, Europe and America by apologizing for
his country’s role in selling fellow Africans. Dr. Myers knows that prayer will be the most essential part of keeping the
vision and work of reconciliation a potent force for healing in America and around the globe.
The group will then travel to Old Point Comfort, Fort Monroe, in Hampton, VA. A second reconciliation and healing prayer
service that will take place at 2:00pm, at the
historic marker where the first Africans landed in America, on August 20, 1619.
Following the prayer service, Dr. Myers, the
National Juneteenth Jazz Artist, Founder & Chairman of the
National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP) and the
Fellowship of Creative Christian Jazz Musicians (FCCJM), will be performing a
Virginia Juneteenth Jazz & Heritage Reconciliation & Healing Concert, at the
American Theatre, in Hampton, VA. The concert is a fund raiser for the First Africans Reconciliation Monument
Fund and is part of the
International Juneteenth Jazz Concert Series. Richmond, Virginia
natives and legendary jazz greats
Lonnie Liston Smith and
Donald Smith, will also be honored during the performance.
Beginning in the year 2000, the
National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement 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 firsthand that America's slave legacy was still a very
contemptuous issue for many Americans, who would rather ignore history than embrace the truth.
"Introduced twice by Congressman Hall, the last time on Juneteenth Independence Day, the
"19th of June", 2000," states Rev. Dr. Myers, Founder and Chairman of the
National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign. "In July of 2008, the House of Representatives
finally passed an
Apology For Slavery and Jim Crow through the efforts of Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) and the
U.S. Senate in
2009, through the efforts of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), during the week of the observance of Juneteenth. However the
legislation, which was a joint resolution, failed in the House of Representatives. This again
demonstrates the need for America to be healed from the legacy of enslavement."
In 2007, Dr. Myers worked with Virginia Del. Frank Hargrove (R-Hanover), who said
blacks should "get over" slavery, creating
a highly contentious racial issue, to propose legislation celebrating Juneteenth as a step toward reconciliation,
creating needed civility with state law makers before dealing with Virginia's historic
Apology For Slavery
"Now I'm traveling to Virginia, where the first slave ship in America landed, to pray for reconciliation and healing for
the African Diaspora and the entire world from the legacy of enslavement," states Rev. Dr. Myers. "Prayer will
continue to be the main focus of our efforts."
Dr. Myers, who is the former National Advisory Chairman of
America's Black Holocaust
Museum, appointed by the 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 led 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."
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.
Dr. Myers was also encouraged by the actions of French President M. Jacques Chirac who addressed the people of France during
of Remembrance and Commemoration of Slavery and Its Abolition.
On the other hand, President Barack Obama,
urging the need for racial healing in America as a presidential candidate, especially following several highly publicized incidents with
strong racial overtones,
has not supported the
National Day of Reconciliaton and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement, does not participate in the
WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, has yet to personally acknowledge the significance of Juneteenth or
Juneteenth Presidential Proclamation.
"We must continue to pray for God to give President Obama and other world leaders a heart for reconciliation and
healing," states Rev. Dr. Myers. This especially holds
true for President Obama, the first African American president, who needs to personally acknowledge the Americans of African
descent who built the
White House during the tyranny of enslavement as a part of the annual observance of
Juneteenth in the nation's capitol."
"Please join us in prayer on the '20th of August' this year and every year following," states Dr. Myers.
"We must continue to seek God in
prayer for the healing of the nation and the world from the legacy of enslavement."
For information on the World Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the
Legacy of Enslavement, contact Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D. at 662-247-3364, 662-247-1471, or e-mail:
JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com or web sites: