Orlando Juneteenth events focus on freedom, uplifting marginalized communities

ORLANDO, Fla. – Miles Mulrain said the fight toward freedom for black people is far from over.

“We are free independently from the slavery, but we still have some more stuff to accomplish,” Mulrain said. “This is something that has been going on for hundreds of years.”

Amid the many protests happening all across the country because of racial injustice, Mulrain said Juneteenth’s message means more now than ever.

“It’s not to discriminate against anybody but it’s to uplift those people who have been marginalized for too long,” Mulrain said.

[News 6 hosts Real Talk: A Candid Conversation on racial inequality in America]

Among the many events happening all across Central Florida to celebrate the end of slavery, Mulrain is also organizing a freedom rally at 3 p.m. Friday at Lake Eola Park followed by a block party in Parramore.

There’s also a push to support black-owned businesses Friday.

“There’s nothing wrong with having a day just for black businesses,” said restaurant owner Joshua Johnson.

Johnson owns Seana’s Restuarant in West Orlando. He welcomes the business Friday, especially because he says he’s still bouncing back because of COVID-19.

“Once COVID happened, things got slow,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to have more business for sure.”

His restaurant is one of many on a list as part of a scavenger hunt during Friday’s event.

[RELATED: Here’s how you can take part in Juneteenth celebrations across Central Florida | Juneteenth: The history behind June 19 and why it’s important to recognize this day]

“People are going to be tasked to visit each business and patronize them, buy things, support them, sign up to volunteer,” Knakeesha Samuels said.

Samuels is the organizer of Black Friday Orlando. She’s put together a scavenger hunt aimed at highlighting Central Florida black-owned businesses.

“Maybe you live in Sanford, you can start there and come all the way to downtown where we will be ending the scavenger hunt,” Samuels said.

You can find more information about that scavenger hunt and how you can take part here.

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