NewsRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach

Actions

Juneteenth prompts protesters to reexamine racial disparities in America

Posted at 7:34 AM, Jun 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-21 07:46:59-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As Juneteenth celebrations unfold nationwide, many are examining the racial disparities that still exist in America.

Juneteenth is an annual celebration marking the end of the slavery in the United States.

The holiday commemorates a specific date — June 19, 1865, the day many enslaved people in Texas learned they had been freed.

However, 155 years later, cries against racism continue to clench communities following the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, an African American man, was killed in police in Minneapolis custody on Memorial Day.

“It’s like knocking a scab off a wound. You’re trying to get better and move forward and focus on getting people out to vote and change things and here comes another killing,” said Vickie Williams, a mother who spoke at the rally.

Over the last four weekends, there has been a public outcry to equalize the criminal justice system.

“To overlook this would be another miscarriage and travesty of justice to the people directly affected and on the frontline of these issues,” said Mark Offerman. “The people are calling for sweeping governmental reform.”

Offerman organized a series of demonstrations in West Palm Beach Saturday starting with an afternoon rally in Currie Park.

At 6 p.m. protesters mobilized in a caravan from Flagler Drive through neighborhood streets passing St. Mary’s Medical Center and other landmarks.

Around sunset, a candlelight vigil was held by the intracoastal near Southern Boulevard as another group marched from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.

Organizers of the demonstration are also calling on the community to register and vote.

“Enough is enough. It’s time for change,” said Williams.