March For Unity Today in Grand Rapids
Today is a celebration of unity for all in remembrance of Juneteenth and you can march today in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to show your support.
For many Juneteenth is a new word they learned watching the news that was highlighted when President Donald Trump had originally scheduled a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Many found this distasteful because of the recent protests so the rally has been moved to Saturday.
Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates the liberation of those who had been held as slaves in the United States. This was originally a holiday that was only celebrated in Texas. Now the entire United States recognizes and celebrates the holiday every June 19.
You may best know this day as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day if you have ever looked at a calendar but it is a day of celebration and deserves to be recognized by all.
The significance of Juneteenth in regards to Tusla, Oklahoma, is that in 1921 a white mob attached a predominantly Black area in Tulsa killing hundreds of people and destroying the country's wealthiest African American community. With the recent protests and riots many agreed having a campaign rally on Juneteenth was not a good idea and disrespectful. Especially since this was the day President Abraham Lincoln ordered the freeing of the slaves.
So if would like to help show unity in Grand Rapids and help celebrate and honor of freedom, come down to Rosa Parks Circle at 6 p.m. After the event wraps up around 8 p.m. there will be some live music to entertain you can continue the celebration for a barbeque.
The folks that put the event together really encouraged all walks of life to participate. This is not a protest at all, its a celebration.
According to WOOD, founder of Citizens Leadership Council Al Willis said, "I think we are getting to a point now where everybody recognizes that there needs to be systemic changes at different levels inside the community at all these different levels. There's a lot of people of color who don't know what Juneteenth is and that stems from some of the systemic changes we need to make in education. So, we want to focus on educating them and then also making sure it's a celebration because Juneteenth really is a holiday and that's what we want to get out of it."
If this is something you would like your kids to experience, there will be a special march on Saturday at 10 a.m. that will start at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum.