FACT CHECK: Do These Photos Show Democrats Celebrating Juneteenth?
A viral Instagram post purportedly shows photos of Democrats celebrating Juneteenth.
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The photos actually show a bipartisan dinner party for female senators hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris at her residence June 15, four days before Juneteenth.
The Instagram post was shared several days after President Joe Biden on June 17 signed a bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday. Juneteenth, observed annually on June 19, commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement by Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, that all enslaved black people in the state were free, according to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
In the viral Instagram post, there are four pictures: one of Harris speaking, one of female senators at a long table and two close-ups taken from the photos showing other people standing nearby. Text in the image reads, “The democRATS celebrating juneteenth (end of slavery) with their black servants in the background.”
The photos were taken at a bipartisan dinner party for female senators hosted by Harris prior to both Juneteenth’s official establishment as a federal holiday and its observance this year. Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow shared the two original photos in a June 15 tweet.
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) June 16, 2021
“What a wonderful bipartisan women Senators dinner at our @VP’s residence!” Stabenow tweeted. “Thank you Kamala! I am so proud of you!” (RELATED: Viral Image Claims Barack Obama Never Mentioned Juneteenth During His Presidency)
The private dinner took place June 15 at the Naval Observatory and was attended by Democratic and Republican female senators, according to CNN. Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn said in a Fox News interview that the dinner was a “completely social evening centered on relationship building.”
“There is no shop talk at this,” she also said. “This is an annual bipartisan dinner that the women of the Senate hold. It’s one of the Senate traditions.”