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Juneteenth in Tulsa: freedom still a distant, delayed dream for Black America

THE CANADIAN PRESS | posted Friday, Jun 19th, 2020

TULSA, Okla. — Black Americans are gathering today to mark the anniversary of an emancipation that came two and a half years late — liberty that many say feels like it never came at all.

It’s been 155 years since slaves in Texas learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865, nearly 30 months after Abraham Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

In 2020, as protests against racially motivated police brutality continue in cities and towns across the U.S., Black activists say Juneteenth will be even more bittersweet.

That’s especially true in Tulsa, the scene of a race riot in 1921 that many historians consider the single worst eruption of racial violence in American history.

It’s also where President Donald Trump has chosen to relaunch his presidential re-election campaign.

Trump’s “Keep America Great” rally was originally scheduled to take place today, but it was later rescheduled for Saturday —a controversy the president credits for making what he calls an otherwise unknown holiday “very famous.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2020.

 

The Canadian Press

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