JAMESTOWN – Mayor Eddie Sundquist proclaimed Juneteenth as a official holiday in Jamestown following a walk from Jackson-Taylor Park to City Hall on Friday afternoon.
In the African-american community Junetheenth represents a sacred day marked by millions of people every year celebrating the abolition of slavery 155 years ago on June 19, 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas were finally told they were free.
Residents in Jamestown took to the streets to march in silence not just to memorialize Juneteenth, but, to shed light on discrimination.
Sundquist says more than a century later systemic racism and injustice remain.
“One hundred and fifty five years later we are still crying out across this nation that black lives matter, we say the names of those we have lost to remember the struggle, the oppression and the racism we still see today,” said Sundquist. “We as one nation must recognize that the color of one’s skin should never dictate how we treat each other as human beings.”
The Mayor says the only way to create real change is to educate and inform all in the community. He says that change is coming soon and is proud to see the community come together to create the model.
“It’s time we work together to push the city into the next generation,” said Sundquist. “One where we remember our past struggles, where we educate one another, and we embrace diversity and change for the betterment of all peoples in the City of Jamestown.”
Many say the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police sparked massive Black Lives Matter protests making the importance of Juneteenth even more profound.