BOSTON — Juneteenth celebrations took place all across the Commonwealth on Saturday as people commemorated the new federal holiday.
For many people at Town Field in Dorchester, it was a long-overdue day of celebration.
”It’s a time to pause and think and rest from the daily fight of fighting for liberation, fighting for people, fighting for the unhoused,” said Joel Richards, one of the event organizers.
Dozens of people there observed the holiday with music, dance, and community discussion.
”I think more people are getting involved because there’s a lot of history that we didn’t learn in school,” added Adriana Raines, a social worker in Boston.
At Franklin Park, more than a thousand people gathered to rejoice and reflect.
”It’s big black energy,” said Iletta Kentrell of Boston. “This is a holiday that we’ve been fighting for for years, our ancestors have been fighting for this.”
”It’s been awesome seeing all of the beautiful black faces, all shapes, all colors, all sizes, celebrating the fact that black people have been here. We are Americans,” said Genelle Faulkner of Boston.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in 1865. Many in the black community told Boston 25 that they want that history taught in schools.
”As we move forward, what I really want us to think about beyond just Juneteenth, is what are we doing in our schools to support education so that we understand our histories and where we come from,” said Lisa Lazare of Boston.
Others said America has a long way to go when it comes to police brutality against the black community.
”They gave us a holiday, we appreciate it. But let’s stop the killing of black people with the cops. That’s what we appreciate more,” said Curtis Henderson of Boston.
It was a day of reflection with promises of continued activism on the horizon.
”We have a lot of ways to go. This is just one holiday exploring one other realistic truth about the United States that we have suppressed,” said Lazare.
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