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Juneteenth Freedom Days celebration happening at Point State Park in Pittsburgh

For the first time, Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh are observing Juneteenth as an official holiday and there are multiple events happening around the area to celebrate. The events include a three-day festival at Pittsburgh’s Point State Park. Juneteenth Freedom Days opened with a consecration service on Friday afternoon. (See it in the video player above.)The Ohio Players took the main stage on Friday night; Big Daddy Kane and Rakim are scheduled to perform on Saturday night.”It’s a great thing. You know, I’ve always said we’ve got to celebrate each other’s culture,” said state Rep. Ed Gainey, the Democratic nominee for mayor. “The world is diverse now. The more that we learn about each other, the more we remove bigotry and racism, and there’s more love and tolerance, and that’s what the day represents when I talk about independence. Independence is the ability for everybody to celebrate culture.”More events: Click here for a list of Juneteenth events from VisitPittsburgh.Fans of Billy Porter were happy to meet the Pittsburgh-born Tony and Grammy winner at the Point on Friday.”I think that everything is incremental. We’re in a space in this country, and in this world, where real significant change has to happen or we’re going to implode,” Porter said. “Our government doesn’t even want to talk about it. They want to act like slavery didn’t even exist. You can’t heal from a thing until you look at the thing, right?”William Marshall is the organizer for the event at Point State Park. He said he is grateful for the respect Juneteenth is receiving in Pittsburgh and across the state. Juneteenth is now a federal holiday as well. The Emancipation Proclamation is at the heart of the Juneteenth celebration, marking the official end of slavery. Marshall said the holiday is a blend of celebration and education. “America’s independence really has no significant meaning for African American people. In 1776, when Europeans won their freedom from British rule, they kept Black people as slaves, Americans that is, so we were not free. We did not gain our freedom until 1865, after the Civil War,” Marshall said.

For the first time, Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh are observing Juneteenth as an official holiday and there are multiple events happening around the area to celebrate.

The events include a three-day festival at Pittsburgh’s Point State Park. Juneteenth Freedom Days opened with a consecration service on Friday afternoon. (See it in the video player above.)

The Ohio Players took the main stage on Friday night; Big Daddy Kane and Rakim are scheduled to perform on Saturday night.

“It’s a great thing. You know, I’ve always said we’ve got to celebrate each other’s culture,” said state Rep. Ed Gainey, the Democratic nominee for mayor. “The world is diverse now. The more that we learn about each other, the more we remove bigotry and racism, and there’s more love and tolerance, and that’s what the day represents when I talk about independence. Independence is the ability for everybody to celebrate culture.”

More events: Click here for a list of Juneteenth events from VisitPittsburgh.


Fans of Billy Porter were happy to meet the Pittsburgh-born Tony and Grammy winner at the Point on Friday.

“I think that everything is incremental. We’re in a space in this country, and in this world, where real significant change has to happen or we’re going to implode,” Porter said. “Our government doesn’t even want to talk about it. They want to act like slavery didn’t even exist. You can’t heal from a thing until you look at the thing, right?”

William Marshall is the organizer for the event at Point State Park. He said he is grateful for the respect Juneteenth is receiving in Pittsburgh and across the state.

Juneteenth

Juneteenth is now a federal holiday as well.

The Emancipation Proclamation is at the heart of the Juneteenth celebration, marking the official end of slavery.

Marshall said the holiday is a blend of celebration and education.

“America’s independence really has no significant meaning for African American people. In 1776, when Europeans won their freedom from British rule, they kept Black people as slaves, Americans that is, so we were not free. We did not gain our freedom until 1865, after the Civil War,” Marshall said.

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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