Loudspeakers echoed hip-hop has been silent for a moment. The silence in front of the Brooklyn Museum is broken only by passing cars.
Until recently, New Yorkers participating in a bicycle march on the Freedom Ride were swarming in front of the museum, now a group of hundreds of people borrowing their name from the 1960s civil rights movement is already on their way to Coney Island shore.
Left to clean the area with a few other volunteers Tahani Cooper smiles from behind his huge sunglasses. The sleeve of Cooper’s black t-shirt is adorned with a small red-black-green striped flag that reads Juneteenth above it.
“I’m proudly black, so this celebration has a significant place in my heart,” Cooper says.
Cooper, who grew up in Chicago, is from Texas, so he has been celebrating the day for as long as he can remember.
“A lot of people here, on the other hand, hadn’t even heard of it,” Cooper, who moved to New York 12 years ago, says.
It was a surprise that the bill, which passed unanimously in the upper house of the Senate, progressed at all until the vote.
Although Juneteenth was declared an official public holiday in Texas as early as 1979, it became familiar to many Americans, including blacks, for the first time on June 19 last.
George Floydin in the midst of the post-murder protests, Juneteenth was celebrated for the first time around the country a year ago.
By now, Juneteenth is probably known to every American who follows the news, as this week Juneteenth became a federal holiday. President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a bill that will now celebrate the renunciation of slavery nationally.
In New York, there would be dozens of different events celebrating Junetheen.
Tahani Cooper’s goal is to have time to visit at least two Brooklyn parks, Prospect Park and Fort Greene Park to enjoy barbecue food, listen to music and dance. For Cooper, as for many others, an important part of the holiday is the black national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, singing.
Despite the fact that Cooper has always celebrated Juneteenth, the status of a national holiday is of enormous importance to him.
“Of course. People who may not have heard of it yesterday may have heard of it today. This country can only change and develop if people want to learn more. ”
Itthat the bill, which passed unanimously in the upper house of the Senate on Tuesday, progressed until the vote at all, was a small surprise.
A Republican senator who opposed the bill for a year Ron Johnson withdrew the protest, justified by the wage costs of state workers, suddenly and the Democrats rushed to the vote on the bill on the same day.
In the lower house of the Senate, 14 deputies voted against the bill on Wednesday. Officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, those who voted against the bill are in danger of confusing the significance of July 4th National Day if white and black Americans each choose only another holiday according to their race.
“Many do not understand the significance of the celebration. It doesn’t matter because it didn’t happen to them. ”
Who was organizing a bike march in Brooklyn Milly Louis I think the argument is ridiculous.
“When America was already celebrating the Fourth of July, our people were still in shackles and enslaved. Juneteenth is an opportunity for everyone to learn about history and celebrate how far we have come. ”
For both Louis and Cooper, celebrating Juneteenth is all about joy, but it’s still not always easy to celebrate.
“Historically, we haven’t had space here, but now we’re clearing it. Some days it’s easier, others harder, but neither did our ancestors give up, ”Louis notes.
The name of the holiday is a combination of the words June and 7pm – in English june and nineteenth. The special significance of the day in Texas is explained by the fact that on June 19, 1865, two months after the end of the Civil War, the General of the Nordic States, the Union, arrived in Galveston, Texas. Gordon Granger brought the news of the end of slavery. More than 250,000 African Americans were released – only two and a half years after the president Abraham Lincoln after the Declaration of Liberty.
Juneteenthin in the midst of the celebration, activists seek to recall the unequal reality of the United States.
Belongs to the executive body of the civil rights organization NAACP Sherrilyn Ifill for example, in an interview with MSNBC, he compared the blackout of the Declaration of Liberty to the restriction of voting rights and police violence.
Arrived on vacation from Killeen, Texas to New York Connie Diggs has also celebrated Juneteenth from an early age, both in parades and among family and friends. Protected from a cloudless sky reindeering under a cap, Diggs is sympathetic to those who believe that the word Independence Day should not have been officially associated with Juneteenth. Not even if the day is called the Second Independence Day of the United States.
“A lot of people don’t know how to treat Juneteenth because they don’t understand its meaning to us,” Diggs says and continues. “It doesn’t matter because it didn’t happen to them.”
Growing up in Mississippi, Diggs attaches importance to the holiday’s reminder of the freedom and how much African Americans have had to fight.
The grandfather of his grandchildren, Diggs, wants to understand that achieving current rights has been behind the fight and the fight is not completely over. For Diggs, however, that by no means means that Juneteenth is just a Black American celebration.
“It’s not us against them. There is one common America where we hope to have equal human rights for all. ”