After a year marked by trauma, Twin Cities Black communities gathered to mark Juneteenth with music, food, and conversations about justice.
Feven Gerezgiher reports:
This Saturday, hundreds of Twin Cities residents celebrated a warm, sunny Juneteenth.
Gaye Adams Massey is CEO of YWCA Saint Paul. This year, the YWCA held Juneteenth festivities publicly for the first time, just blocks from the historic Black neighborhood of Rondo.
“This has been such a year for all of us with COVID, with a real focus on racial injustice in our communities,” said Adams Massey. “And looking for opportunities to celebrate something as important as Juneteenth with our entire community, we thought was a fun and special thing to do.”
The celebration featured local talents T. Mychael Rambo and Thomasina Petrus, while also showcasing upcoming stars such as the Walker West Youth Jazz Ensemble.
In Minneapolis’s Seward neighborhood, LaDonna Sanders-Redmond offered libations to the ancestors before a food justice panel.
“Frederick Douglas…Nat Turner…Rosa Parks…Fanny Lou Hamer….ase, ase, ase,” she said.
While many embraced the day to be in community, the legacy of Juneteenth was not far from their minds. Kevin Reese is the founder of Until We Are All Free, an organization that supports incarcerated people and their families. He said the day reminds him of all those beaten, brutalized, murdered, or lynched.
“The next step is reparations,” said Reese. “The next step is we need to rewrite the Constitution. And we need to do reparations first and let everybody come back to the table on equal playing fields. And until we do that, everything else that we’re doing is just dressing.”
Photo Credit: KingDemetrius Pendleton
Subscribe to hear Daily Updates in your podcast feed
- Protestors Seek to Have Charges DroppedActivists on Thursday called on local officials to drop all charges against protestors demanding justice for Black lives. Mass arrests have become more common in the last year, with 646 people arrested during a march last November, and another 150 at a pr
- Activists Demand Accountability for Private SecurityMinneapolis community members say a private security team in Uptown has seriously injured 3 people. They say they’re concerned the city is effectively outsourcing policing to private military contractors. Feven Gerezgiher reports.
- Enbridge Energy’s Water Usage Draws Criticism Amidst DroughtIn response to the drought, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources suspended some of Enbridge’s permits to draw surface water. At the same time, the DNR has also increased the total amount of groundwater Enbridge can remove at its construction site
- Collective honors victims of criminal justice system… with flowersThe Flower Power Collective works to create healing spaces that serve as an alternative to protests. From sunrise to sundown, artists and community members carefully place flower after flower on the grass, working to create a vibrant art piece. Whether th