Minneapolis celebrates its fifteenth year after recognizing the official holiday Race problems

Minneapolis, United States – summer hut In Floyd Square, one summer morning, a gardener burns a palo santo in a small wooden dish next to Floyd’s now infamous white mural.

A shocking, SpongeBob-themed house was erected in the parking lot of a nearby church. Inside, children jump and kick the inflatable ball on the beach as hot dogs, burgers, and bras slowly fire on a nearby black barrel barbecue.

“It’s a special thing for the 15th year. “We are focused on the future, the future is the children,” John Ames John Onson of the Worldwide Outreach for Christ Church told Al Jazeera. “For it to be a national holiday now, it is something special, we want to express it.”

June 19, or the fifteenth day, marks the day when Union troops arrived in Galveston and told the enslaved African-Americans that they were free. More than two years after the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Declaration on Emancipation, declaring all slaves free.

Celebrations began the following year to commemorate the event, which is celebrated in African American communities as the second day of independence. The movement to make Juneteenth an official holiday has grown in recent decades.

Mural in the northern part of Minneapolis [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]

In Minneapolis, the city’s human resources department offered to make the 15th city the 12th paid vacation in April. Minneapolis City Council on May 14 made it official, followed by the whole country when: President Biden signed June 17 is the eighteenth day of the national independence of the law.

Until Saturday in Minneapolis, his “twin city” St. Paul, there were happy celebrations, some events have nothing to do with the recent steps of local-federal governments.

“It does not change anything,” Kevin Reese, founder of a Minneapolis-based human rights organization based in Minneapolis, told Al aze Azira.

He was going to host a community event in the afternoon at the South Minneapolis Cafe, which was attended by local performers-artists along with prayer քային community talk opportunities.

“This is another gesture from America to the heirs of slavery. It really does not do anything. Եւ America can do nothing about lack of compensation … it will satisfy me. “

Prior to this year, Before We Are All Free had been collaborating with other community groups for the past 15 years, but this year they are holding their own party event due to the group’s continued growth. “This will be our first annual event,” Reese said. “We are preparing for 500 people.”

Just weeks after Minneapolis celebrated its 15th day, Mayor Jacob Jacob Frey insisted that Flo Flo Square, which had been blocked by the community since Floyd’s assassination, be reopened to the public.

George’s Floyd Square was recently reopened to traffic [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]

City council members blamed the mayor abusing emergency powers During the epidemic, he had a $ 359,000 contract with a community group to reopen the intersection.

Tony Smith, who spent a hot morning in the shadows of the square, said the reopening was possible for businesses struggling to close, but that monuments should be left in place and preserved.

He spent the fifteenth to raise donations for those in several homeless camps in the city through Catholic charities, a local non-profit organization.

“I usually have a barbecue.” [spending Juneteenth in] “Loneliness,” he told Al Aze Azira. “There is nothing to be happy about, fifteenth. You know it’s very angry… When I heard that [Biden] It made it a national holiday, which made me somewhat angry. ”

Tony Smith sits in George’s Floyd Square in Minneapolis as he prepares for the 15th anniversary [Cinnamon Janzer/Al Jazeera]

In the northern part of Minneapolis, a large parking lot celebration, culminating in community-set pavilions and tents, another luxurious home, quickly formed into a growing crowd.

When a passer-by was talking to the volunteers who were putting up a canvas tent, surrounded by black, red and green balloons, about the national holiday, which is all ours. Fifteenth “, the founder and director of Black Bold and Brilliant մեկը one of the organizers of the organization. The “Wisdom to Mavus” event is engaged in the creation of the area, which he calls the cave of the human being.

“We wanted to do something to get to know these men,” he told Al Jazeera. “We create a beautiful space for black men to respect, to respect them, to what they do, to how important they are in our community. “Sometimes they do not get enough of that positive recognition.”

On the other side of the park, with background music playing, Comer X. Henry, Twin Cities Recovery Project’s Peer Rehabilitation Services Manager, an organization that provides support and services to people with substance abuse problems, employs one in four men. to set up a tent.

He told Al Jazeera that Juneteenth is “a so-called slavery holiday. It means a lot to me in two ways. One is that we are physically free. The second, my truth, is that we are still spiritually closed, we depend on everyone but ourselves. ”

When it comes to designating Juneteenth as a city-national holiday, Henry says, “It’s definitely a big step. I think we’re going in the right direction, but it’s a little deeper and harder for me.” [We’re] dealing with white supremacy և still suffering. “

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