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Here’s how you can take part in Juneteenth celebrations across Central Florida

Juneteenth celebrated each year on June 19

Kelli Ann Thomas, a candidate for Community Council, sorts signs before the start of a Workers First Caravan, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Miami. The caravan was part of a nation-wide effort to urge those in government to implement policies that further economic and racial justice. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Kelli Ann Thomas, a candidate for Community Council, sorts signs before the start of a Workers First Caravan, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Miami. The caravan was part of a nation-wide effort to urge those in government to implement policies that further economic and racial justice. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

This Friday is June 19 also known as Juneteenth, the date that signifies the end of slavery in America. It’s also known as “Freedom Day” or “Black Independence Day.”

As more conversations about race and community continue, recognizing Juneteenth is a way to acknowledge the U.S. history of enslavement and possibly a way forward. Click here to about this date in American history.

Most states observe Juneteenth in some way, except three: Hawaii, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

More recently, employers including, Twitter, Nike, The New York Times and the NFL have announced they will now include Juneteenth as a paid holiday for their workers.

The day is usually marked by community events, gatherings and celebrations.

Here are some events in Central Florida honoring the history of Juneteenth, many allow for social distancing and health precautions due to the coronavirus. If we missed your event, email web@wkmg.com.

BLACK FRIDAY SCAVENGER HUNT

From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. participants will explore black-owned businesses and historic sites in Orlando and surrounding areas during a scavenger hunt. To register click here.

At the end of the competition, the winner can choose a business to give the donations from the Black Friday Orlando Grant.

REAL TALK TOWN HALL, VIRTUAL EVENT

Join News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for “Real Talk: A Candid Conversation” from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. We want to hear your thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas when it comes to racial inequality and what can be done to build a better future where people aren’t discriminated against for the color of their skin.

Click here to submit your questions and watch live.

DEMONSTRATION HONORING VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE, ORANGE COUNTY

Advocates have created a silent demonstration in Orange County to honor black lives lost to racism and police brutality.

More than 300 names will be represented along John Young Parkway at West Colonial, including Emmett Till, George Floyd, the Groveland Four and Rayshard Brooks.

This is a silent, socially distanced demonstration, peacefully respecting and paying honor to each name, according to organizers. Participants will be wearing white T-shirts and masks and seated 6 feet apart along the sidewalk.

PEACEFUL PROTEST, APOPKA

Organized by 16-year-old Johnny Simmons, the goal of his peaceful protest is to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community by creating relationships and building trust.

Simmons said they’re holding the protest on Juneteenth, a day marking the end of slavery in the United States. He said it’s important because not everyone is free.

The protest starts at 12:30 p.m. on Friday at St. Paul AME Church located at 1012 S. Park Avenue.

JUNETEENTH RALLY FOR JUSTICE, OCOEE

State Sen. Randolph Bracy will be joined by State Rep. Geraldine Thompson, and local elected officials at 10 a.m. at Ocoee City Hall for the Juneteenth Rally For Justice.

MARCH FOR RACIAL EQUALITY, SANFORD

The city of Sanford will host a peaceful March for racial equality and a freedom of speech event featuring guest speakers.

The event begins at Fort Mellon Park at 2 p.m. and will be followed by a march along Seminole Boulevard to Park Avenue, where guests will pause and take a knee for 10-15 minutes, then proceed south to 1st Street.

The event will end at 5 p.m. back at Fort Mellon Park with a prayer.

Click here for more information and a map of the route.

MARCH TO MARK REJECTION OF CONFEDERATE STATUE, LAKE COUNTY

The Lake County Commission’s decision to reject a Confederate statue will be recognized during a Day of Remembrance on June 19.

Organized by Pastor Mike Watkins the event will be just one element in an event highlighting the Juneteenth commemoration.

CELEBRATION TO HONOR PARRAMORE GRADUATES

The Levy-Hughes Branch of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida will host a graduation celebration for its 2020 high school graduates at 7 p.m. The event will take place at the Wells’Built Museum of African American History & Culture in Parramore.


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