What Juneteenth celebrations and marches looked like across the US
Thousands of people gathered Friday in cities across the country to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday and protest racism.
Friday marked the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery that was first celebrated in Texas in 1866. It has since been reserved as a day of celebration and reflection for many African Americans, and takes place on June 19 annually.
This year, the holiday comes in the midst of nationwide protests against racism, police brutality and inequality after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and other Black Americans. The holiday was no different, with peaceful demonstrations taking place in cities across the country, with some events drawing thousands.
Here’s how some cities celebrated:
In Oakland, Calif., thousands were seen marching from the Port of Oakland into the city, with civil rights icon Angela Davis spotted among the protesters.
Longshoremen organized a work stoppage and shut down the Port of Oakland and 28 other ports along the west coast to mark Juneteenth.
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) June 19, 2020
Angela Davis addressing the Port shutdown crowd in Oakland pic.twitter.com/wZvbCX9Shd
— Amir Aziz (@aziaticblack) June 19, 2020
A large group is marching down 65th St. in Phinney Ridge/toward Ballard.
— Taylor Blatchford ⛰ (@blatchfordtr) June 19, 2020
#Breaking – Thousands descend on Jimi Hendrix Park in Seattle’s Central District the King County Equity Now Juneteenth Celebration. We will be streaming this event live shortly. pic.twitter.com/Fhm2x8mlAO
— Omari Salisbury (@Omarisal) June 19, 2020
In Chicago, video showed Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Democratic Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin at the front of a crowd preparing to march in a Juneteenth celebration, with large banners with George Floyd’s name and face held by those at the front of the marchers.
Pritzker also announced on Friday that he is pushing to make Juneteenth a state holiday.
According to the Chicago Tribune, there were more Juneteenth celebration events in the city than most years and some demonstrators attended multiple.
Images of #GeorgeFloyd leading the charge at Chicago’s Juneteenth march.
— Adriana Diaz (@adrianasdiaz) June 19, 2020
HAPPENING NOW: “1, 2, 3, 4 Black Kids Deserve More!”
— WUSA9 (@wusa9) June 19, 2020
New York, N.Y.
A silent march took place to celebrate Juneteenth in New York, with protesters marching from Harlem to Central Park, but it was just one of numerous gatherings to mark the holiday.
According to local outlet Pix 11, there were events in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and Long Island ranging from marches to kickbacks to picnics.
— Kayla Ruble (@RubleKB) June 19, 2020
— Ashish Prashar (@Ash_Prashar) June 19, 2020
Video from the city of brotherly love showed a powerful moment where Black men stood in solidarity and released a loud roar of pain in Malcolm X Park.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, about 200 people attended that march from 52nd Street to the park, which was mostly made up of men wearing black T-shirts and peacefully demonstrating.
The local outlet reported on a series of events held throughout the city, including a food drive and a Black Lives Matter fashion protest near the Liberty Bell featuring Black women wearing a line of clothing made from fabric from Africa.
Shortly after noon today in Malcolm X Park, West Philly, black men participating in a Brotherly Love Juneteenth March release out a roar of pain so they can get out their fear and self-doubt and help the community. pic.twitter.com/4pH9JAV0uL
— Julie Shaw (@julieshawphilly) June 19, 2020