On June 19, 1865, Texas, the largest southern state in the U.S. after the Civil War, abolished slavery. This day became known as June Day, or Freedom Day, to mark the end of slavery in the United States.
One hundred and fifty-five years later, demonstrations calling for racial equality have swept through cities across the United States, and protests continue across the Country following the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, after police brutality.
Demonstrations in Washington and other major cities, including New York and Los Angeles, drew large crowds. Some Texas cities are also marking the anniversary.
In central Washington, thousands marched in intermittent rain, chanting Freud’s name and “Black Lives Matter.” Some demonstrators gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, chanting slogans such as “Stop funding the police” to protest police brutality.
New Yorkers held a “June Festival” in the streets, parks and other places to celebrate and demonstrate. For the past few weeks, there have been protests against police brutality and against racial discrimination in New York. Some people told the media that although juneJie is an annual event, this year has a special significance and it is the first time for many people to participate in junejie activities.
New York Mayor DE Blasio announced on the same day that next year’s June Day will become an official holiday in the city. “African American history is American history,” he said on social media.
There are dozens of events in California, downtown Los Angeles and surrounding towns. In addition to the street demonstrations, some People in Hollywood and institutions such as the University of Southern California also used forums and video conferences to discuss racial equality and share life experiences.
Former US President Barack Obama tweeted that June Day was never about “celebrating victory” or “accepting the status quo”, but about “celebrating progress”. He said that despite the years of pain, change is still possible in America and there is still a long way to go.
Juneday was previously an official holiday in some American states. Some U.S. politicians and civil rights activists are calling for June to be made a federal holiday.