SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Last week was Juneteenth, a day that celebrates the end of slavery in America.
Springfield was going to have a celebration walk last Saturday, but because of the weather, it was rescheduled for today.
Our David Chasanov shows us tonight that the celebration could not be bound by a date on the calendar.
Today’s Juneteenth Freedom March starts from City Hall, going all the way to Washington Park. It’s a 30-minute walk, but it’s one big party.
“In my belly, I’m just so happy that we can come here and have a lot of time together,” said Jamille Jones, Juneteenth Freedom Walk organizer “It’s everybody. Every race, every age. It doesn’t matter.”
“Every stop that we took was a way for the individual to imagine and put themselves into the body of the enslaved African American who had to take that walk and make many stops to find out exactly where they were gonna settle and finally be free,” Jones said.
Christine Peoples led dozens of people in prayers about unity and love.
“We must unify and understand that the next generation, that’s why we’re here,” Peoples said. “So that they won’t have to go through the same things.”
Peoples says she was encouraged by today’s turnout.
“Look how amazing that they are,” Peoples said. “This is family. Look at this. I mean this is where it’s at. We want family and we want the community to be secured for the next generation. So we have to bring it back. And bringing that community… we stand together for the whole.”
After the walk, people gathered in Washington Park for some guest speakers, musical performances and there was also a tent set up to get people registered to vote.
Juneteenth is normally celebrated on June 19 and it marks the day that the final slaves in the United States were freed back in 1865.