Juneteenth Celebrations at Pritzker Park

By Mike Rundle, Senior Photo Editor

Crowds gathered in Pritzker Park, 310 S. State St., Wednesday, June 19 to celebrate Juneteenth—a day that commemorates the 1865 emancipation of slaves in the southern United States.

LaCreshia Birts, coordinator of the event and initiator of the Black Remembrance Project, said the goal of the event was to raise awareness of Juneteenth throughout Chicago, and eventually engage aldermen to consider observing Juneteenth as a local holiday. Ultimately, she would like to see it celebrated as a federal holiday.

“We decided that we wanted to try to make more of our presence known,” said Birts. “Even though [Juneteenth] is celebrated unofficially … it’s not really widely known.”

At the event, attendees danced, poured out libations to honor black ancestors and discussed reparations and the state of Chicago’s black community.

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