PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – June 19th is known as “Juneteeth” marking the end of slavery in the United States when the final slaves were emancipated in 1865.
This year’s celebration comes alongside protests and marches across the country after several incidents of violence against African Americans by police officers.
In Pittsburgh, it falls on the two-year anniversary of a police shooting.
On June 19, 2018, Antwon Rose II was shot and killed by East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld. Rosfeld was later acquitted.
June 19, 2020 is the first anniversary of Pennsylvania declaring June 19 as “Juneteenth National Freedom Day.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is encouraging all Pennsylvanians to reflect on the importance of the state holiday and the continued need for a fair and just society.
He said this is a moment to honor African-American history and reflect on how all of us can promote equality, liberty, and justice for all people.
Several Juneteenth events will take place around Pittsburgh on Friday including a balloon release at 10:00 a.m. for Antwon Rose II in East Pittsburgh and a sit-in in East Pittsburgh to commemorate his death at noon, hosted by the Allegheny County Black Activist/Organizer Collective.
Following those, a Freedom Day Walk will take place at Freedom Corner in the Hill District at 1:00 p.m.
JUNETEENTH EVENTS IN PITTSBURGH