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Honoring Juneteenth amid debate over reparations

GALVESTON, Texas – Galveston is the birthplace of Juneteenth, the annual celebration marking June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas learned the Civil War was over and they were free. Their freedom came nearly three years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. 

Galveston held it's annual Juneteeth parade and picnic Wednesday. Families came together to share history with their children and pass along tradition. 

"We've got to remember where we came from and all who went through what they went through to keep us here," Laura Lundy said. 

In Washington, D.C., Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee took this day to hold a historic hearing exploring the idea of reparations for slavery. 

The proposed bill would establish a commission to study the impact of slavery and recommend reparation proposals.

"The role of the federal government in supporting the institution of slavery and subsequent discrimination directed against blacks is an injustice that must be formally acknowledged and addressed," Jackson-Lee said. 

At Galveston's Juneteenth celebration, many agree reparations in some form are needed. 

"In our history of America, there's been reparations for so many other cultures and so many different entities that it is well overdue for a people who built the economy of America, that they get their just as well," said Galveston resident Paul Morgan.

The House plans to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. A similar bill in making its way through the Senate, but has very little chance of passage in the Republican-controlled body.