Although plans for Manhattan’s 31st annual Juneteenth set to take place were canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, a few events recognizing the date will be available to the public Friday.
Juneteenth marks the anniversary of when Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas, with Union forces on June 19, 1865 to report the end of the Civil War.
The day will kick off at 9 a.m. in Triangle Park with what co-organizer Teresa Parks hopes will be a peaceful event.
“Any demonstrations and things that we do in these efforts, we want them to be peaceful,” Parks said. “This is about people coming together. We don’t want anything to, you know, devolve into something that it shouldn’t be.”
The line up of speakers will be followed by a Black Lives Matter march around City Park.
Later in the day, beginning at 7 p.m., there will be a flashlight ceremony near the City Park pavilion. Parks says they’re asking attendees to not bring flammable objects.
Jaynae Cole, another BLM co-organizer, says the events are a way of celebrating freedom.
“It’s a celebration of Juneteenth, which is our independence day (when we) celebrate our freedom,” Cole said. “And with the march, it’s put in the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. as well. So we welcome everyone to come out and join us.”