PITTSBURGH — Juneteenth - known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day - celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day when the last slaves in the country were made aware of their freedom.
Amidst widespread protests, conversations about racism and police brutality, Juneteenth 2020 is getting greater attention. Some states, including Pennsylvania, have declared it a holiday. Many companies are doing the same.
Several Juneteenth events in our area were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, but here are some things you can do Friday to celebrate the day.
A Juneteenth Freedom Day Walk will visit Pittsburgh Black Historic sites and learn about their importance to Black Cultural Life starting from the founding of Pittsburgh in 1758.
You can watch live at 1 p.m. Friday on the Western Pennsylvania Juneteenth Celebration Facebook page.
June 19 marks the death of Antwon Rose II, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in East Pittsburgh in 2018. A balloon release in honor of Rose will take place at 10 a.m. on Linden Avenue in East Pittsburgh.
A sit-in is planned for noon Friday at the intersection of Lincoln Highway and Center Street in East Pittsburgh to commemorate the death of Antwon Rose II. The event, which is hosted by the Allegheny County Black Activist/Organizer Collective, is advertised as a celebration of Black freedom, liberation, revolution and empowerment. Participants are told to wear masks and bring signs.
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will host a Juneteenth picnic from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Frick Environmental Center. Registration is required HERE. People participating are asked to wear a mask when entering and exiting the park. One family of five or fewer per blanket or seating area.
What you should bring:
- Food and drinks for you and your family
- A blanket or chairs
- Hand sanitizer
- Anything else you need for a picnic
- Keep in mind that shady spaces are limited, so come prepared for the sun
According to the event Facebook page, it’s a no-contact car cruise to celebrate and honor Queer and Trans ancestors in the spirit of Juneteenth. Hosted by Unfriendly Black QT, the car cruise will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Schenley Park. It will be behind at the loop at Prospect Hill. Organizers ask that everyone bring flags and decorations.
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