(New York) Walks, barbecues, music and speeches The United States celebrated “Junettin” on Saturday, the anniversary of the end of slavery in this city, and is now on holiday, a year after the death of George Floyd.
His assassination sparked a grassroots movement against racism and police brutality against African Americans in the United States and beyond.
The mobilization significantly strengthened the visibility of the “Junetine”, which many Americans, including African Americans, were unaware of even two years ago.
The acronym “June” and “19” in English refers to the day the last slaves of an island in Texas learned of their independence on June 19, 1865. “Junetin” is the milestone date for the liberation of African Americans.
Festive occasion since 1866, “Junettin” is even more so this year because it is the first national event to be celebrated without health restrictions, and in recent weeks there are many more measures to fight the corona virus infection.
Hundreds of events were planned across the United States, from New York to Los Angeles via Calveston on the island of Texas, which was considered the “Junetin” landmark.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden passed legislation to make June 19 a national holiday after 156 years.
Cheryl Green, 68, who attended the inauguration ceremony in Brooklyn at the statue of George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020, responded.
“It’s a good thing people recognize what happened,” said the African-American who lives in this New York neighborhood. “Changes are slow, but of course, we’ll get there.”
In Washington, with hundreds of people celebrating the anniversary of the death of George Floyd by the renaming of Black Lives Matter Plaza on the Avenue leading to the White House as the monster racist protests began.
Kevin Blanks, a 29-year-old black educator, on Saturday denounced racism as “deeply ingrained in this country’s DNA.” Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Harriet Dubman His shirt lists the names of many of the identities of the struggle for the liberation of black people in the United States.
Tonic Megue, 51, assures us that “our ancestors fought very hard,” and that African Americans “have a long way to go before they can truly be free in the United States.”
A poll released by Caleb on Tuesday showed that 28% of Americans “know nothing” about “Junetin”.
“Beat it when the iron is hot”
Sheriff Street, a local black senator from Pennsylvania, tweeted, “It’s a little surprising that we celebrate (this day) as we fight national attacks” aimed at minority suffrage.
Between January and May, 14 U.S. states, including Georgia and Florida, passed laws restricting voting opportunities, with measures aimed at reducing the voting influence of minorities, especially black communities.
As for Sheriff Street, it is a reminder that our victories are not final, even if they are “powerful signs of progress” such as the right to vote.
A bill to ensure broad access to the vote is currently under discussion in the Senate, but its fate seems too uncertain because many elected Republicans oppose it.
For Farah Louis, a black city councilor in New York City, the momentum announced by “Junetine” as a public holiday and the momentum given by the post-Floyd movement provided “an opportunity” for the black community.
“You have to hit it when the iron is hot,” he said, referring to the debate over “compensation” in particular, compensating African Americans for the devastation caused by slavery.
On Friday, mayors of 11 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and Denver, promised compensation to representatives of the black community, urging the national government and Congress to follow suit.
“We see a change in the country,” George’s brother Terence Floyd admitted when he unveiled the statue to his brother.
Terence Floyd, who lives in New York, recently formed an organization called “We Are Floyd” (we are Floyd), “to continue the change,” he told AFP. “It simply came to our notice then. ”