By Carol Tannenhauser
Friday, June 19th, is Juneteenth, the oldest commemoration of the actual ending of slavery in the United States. It is the day in 1865 that news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Galveston, Texas, more than two years after it was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, as an executive order. (Read the full story on history.com )
Juneteenth takes on greater meaning this year in light of the protests against police brutality and systemic racism that are rocking the nation. Traditionally a day of celebration, mourning and prayer, Juneteenth will be recognized on the Upper West Side on Friday, from 5 to 6 p.m., on both sides of Broadway at 96th Street. The names of those lost to racial violence will be read, with a bell rung for each one. The event was organized by a group called Veterans for Peace, who sent the following invitation:
Dear friends and neighbors,
Please attend a one-hour memorial for the innumerable black people who continue to be murdered by the police and racist vigilantes. The memorial will take place at 96th Street and Broadway, on north and south sides, on June 19, a special day, as Juneteenth is the oldest nationally-celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US.
We will read in unison the names of those murdered and ring a bell for each stolen life. Tragically, this may not be a complete list as there are many more whose names may not have been published.
There will be a banner that says Take Your Knee Off His Neck. If you want to bring a sign, please limit it to “Defund the Police”, “Black Lives Matter”, or the name of a person murdered by law enforcement.
We expect that all protesters will respect each other by wearing masks and observing at least 6’ of distancing to keep us all safe.
SAY THEIR NAMES
Friday, June 19
5 PM-6 PM
Broadway at 96th Street