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Black Vancouver 'Juneteenth' march taking place Friday

“Though Canadian, we cannot ignore the direct ties that many of our citizens have with our neighbouring Americans below; this makes the celebration of Juneteenth just as important for us as it is for them."
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After thousands showed up to protests at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Jack Poole Plaza, (pictured) in recent weeks, Black Vancouver is planning a march to mark "Juneteenth." The occasion commemorates the date slaves in Texas were first informed of their freedom and the end of the Civil War. Photo by Elana Shepert.

Another demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement is set to take place in Vancouver.

Black Vancouver is hosting a “Juneteenth” march next Friday, June 19, in solidarity with continued demonstrations being held across the continent and around the world. The event is set to begin in Jack Poole Plaza at 4 p.m. 

“Following the two recent Black Lives Matters protests, one at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the other at the Olympic Cauldron, many members of the community have advocated for a march in unity,” Black Vancouver organizers stated in a media release

“It is not only emotionally expressive but holds immense power, history and tradition, and is a powerful tool to create change and express community values." 

The event will mark “Juneteenth,” also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day or Jubilee Day. The annual commemoration dates back to 1865, when slaves in Texas were first informed of their freedom and the end of the Civil War,  approximately two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

“Though Canadian, we cannot ignore the direct ties that many of our citizens have with our neighbouring Americans below; this makes the celebration of Juneteenth just as important for us as it is for them.”

 

 

Vancouver-based Nova Stevens and Shamika Mitchell are organizing the “Freedom from Hate March,” “with the full platform support of the Black Vancouver team,” the group explained in the release. 

Volunteers will be on hand during the march to hand out Black Lives Matter t-shirts to attendees. The shirts aim “to keep sparking conversations once people head home to their own communities, circles and families,” organizers explained in the release. Black Vancouver is inviting those who are able to donate to help fund the t-shirts on its website. 

Juneteenth is currently recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 47 U.S. states, while tech companies Twitter and Square announced this week that they’ve designated the date a company holiday. 


This story was originally published on June 11, 2020



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