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Address by Ambassador Kitoko Gata: Committing to Juneteenth and Honoring the Contributions of African Americans

JUNE 19, 2023

Address by Ambassador Kitoko Gata: Committing to Juneteenth and Honoring the Contributions of African Americans

Let me begin by expressing my sincere gratitude and congratulations to the organizers of today's Juneteenth celebration, which I have heard is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, commemorations of the end of slavery in the United States, also known as Freedom and Emancipation Day. My name is Kitoko Gata and I am Chad's ambassador-designate to the United States. I arrived only a few days ago, it's been almost a month now. One of my main missions here will be to strengthen the existing relationship between our two countries, as we are long-standing partners.
I discovered Juneteenth a year ago during one of my previous trips to the United States, before being appointed ambassador. I am delighted to celebrate this significant occasion with all of you today. I have noticed that the understanding and enthusiasm surrounding Juneteenth is increasing at a remarkable rate. Cities and states across the United States and beyond realize the wonderful opportunity we have to come together to appreciate, reconcile, and commemorate. Juneteenth allows people in the United States to recognize the spirit of African Americans and honor their invaluable contributions that have enriched American society.
I understand the importance and strength of this event for all of America, and I can feel everywhere the understanding and enthusiasm generated by Juneteenth, which is growing at a phenomenal rate. Juneteenth is no longer just a national holiday, but an international holiday, celebrated throughout the United States, in cities and states across the country, and it makes me realize what a wonderful opportunity it is for everyone present tonight to come together to appreciate, reconcile and commemorate this important event.
I understand that on this day, we recognize the African-American spirit and honor the roles and contributions that have enriched American society.
And you should know that the history of African Americans has not only impacted American society, but it has impacted the entire world, as I speak. I come from Chad, but I have spent my whole life in France, and I can tell you tonight that we have been positively influenced by the history of African-American icons in France and even Africa. For example, everyone there knows these legends, these icons who fought for the freedom and emancipation of African Americans here, like Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, John Lewis and many others.
Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for this wonderful ceremony that allows us to participate in the Juneteenth celebrations with the staff of my embassy.

Thank you all.

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