Hundreds of Chicagoans spent Juneteenth downtown Friday, marching to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States.
The march kicked off at 11 a.m. near the intersection of State Street and Balbo Drive and is currently making its way to Daley Plaza for a rally.
Participants were seen having fun along the way, dancing music from a marching band that led the group. Many wore masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus.
A portmanteau of June and 19, the holiday celebrates the day when the last enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago.
While the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South in 1863, it wasn’t enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War two years later. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but word didn’t reach the last enslaved Black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas.
A separate interfaith rally and march organized by Pastor Chris Harris of Bright Star Church is scheduled to start at noon at Roosevelt and Columbus Drive and end at Grant Park, where several local officials are scheduled to speak.
Published at Fri, 19 Jun 2020 17:02:52 +0000