Juneteenth celebration at Grand Army Plaza

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams is honoring Juneteenth, the federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S.

Adams is attending a celebration Sunday morning at Grand Army Plaza, one of many events marking the holiday in the city, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported. 

New York is celebrating Juneteenth with a day of concerts, festivals and workshops. The first started at 8 a.m.

Organizers said the holiday is about honoring ancestors and remembering the past, but also about righting wrongs. 

From East New York to Harlem, families commemorated the end of slavery and the potential of freedom by music, crafts and ceremony on Saturday. 

“It is a holiday, we are here celebrating that. Yay!” said Danielle Coleman. 

A freedom festival by Linden Park turned surrounding streets into a maze of music, dance, food and crafts wrapped up in a vibrant Juneteenth banner. 

“Everybody feels proud and happy and I want to get to have fun in the park and lots of stuff,” said 7-year-old Isabelle Thamps. 

On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, federal troops in Texas brought the news to those enslaved there that they were finally free. Many view the holiday as America’s true Independence Day. 

Saturday, outside the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, we found a crowd in line to watch performances.

“We think about our ancestors and what they’ve gone by to build themselves up, pick themselves up. It’s inspiring to know what they’ve gone by and for us to come out and sustain one another, keep the dollars in the community,” said Tinette Spann, who owns Ms. Spudz. 

A literacy festival followed, featuring different authors. Jason Reynolds spoke about writing as a way to heal and reading as an act of rebellion. 

“This is the thing that I need in order to be myself when I need to get by the madness of our time,” Reynolds said. 

The event at Grand Army Plaza on Sunday features music, poetry and speeches by the mayor and members of the New York City Council.

The is the first year Juneteenth is recognized as a paid holiday for city workers. 

Christina Fan


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