African-Americans and others are celebrating Juneteenth today [Friday]. It’s the 155th anniversary of the date in which Black slaves in the former Confederate states were freed.
In Spokane, the Inland Northwest Juneteenth Coalition is sponsoring what it’s calling a virtual celebration and conversation.
Seneca Smith represents the group Amplify Black Voices.
“Juneteenth is an opportunity to reflect on the broken promises that have not been fulfilled to Black Americans, namely, full American citizenship and Juneteenth is not a national celebration for the freedom of Blacks in America where they don’t have their freedom in America," Smith said.
The event will include an education session about Juneteenth and a panel discussion and then performances in the fields of dance, singing, hip hop and poetry.
“It won’t just empower Blacks who need empowerment more than any other group in America. We make the Blacks in America whole, you make America whole. And then we can go from being Black, white, Asian, we can just go to being human beings that exist in America," he said.
In other years, an event like this would likely have been held in person, but due to restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus, this year’s celebration will be virtual.