Duluth community celebrates Juneteenth Jubilee

Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 Duluth) - On June 19, 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was presented in 1863, enslaved African Americans in Texas were informed the Civil War ended. June 19th commemorates that day each year as the holiday Juneteenth.

Local organizer Henry Banks said it’s important for folks to come together to celebrate diverse communities.

“If you know anything about politics or if you know anything about American history, in 1776, our people weren’t free,” said Banks. “This is a celebration of African heritage, African American freedom as we know it in the United States.”

Sunday, dozens made it out for Duluth’s Juneteenth Jubilee in the Central Hillside neighborhood.

“It’s about everybody coming together as a community,” said attendee Minnie Davis Green.

President Joe Biden formally recognized Juneteenth as a holiday for the first time in 2021.

Duluth School District Assistant Superintendent, and grill cook for the day, Anthony Bonds, said that recognition is long overdue.

“It’s been such a long time trying to get this day to be recognized and celebrated as a national holiday,” said Bonds. “And, it was exciting that it was finally approved. It’s really meaningful.”

Although it is meaningful to celebrate how far the country has come since 1865, Bonds said it’s even more important to acknowledge the systemic oppression that Black people still face in the U.S. everyday.

“A way to celebrate it each and every day is to really consider the structural racism that exists in the community and throughout the nation,” said Bonds. “And that we provide opportunities for everyone to be successful.”

Banks echoed those same sentiments.

“We know in this country, that African-American people really aren’t free,” Banks said. “We’re ‘free-ish.’ So, this is a free-ish celebration because we have so much more to do, but this is a great step in the right direction.”

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