New Jersey commemorates end of slavery with Juneteenth celebrations

Local and state leaders commemorated the Juneteenth holiday with a series of events held around New Jersey.

News 12 Staff

Jun 20, 2020, 2:59 AM

Updated 1,394 days ago

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Local and state leaders commemorated the Juneteenth holiday with a series of events held around New Jersey.
While many push for Juneteenth to become an officials national holiday, the mayor of Passaic closed city hall fort the day, marking it a citywide holiday.
“It was deliberate that I wanted it to be a paid holiday, because Juneteenth – Freedom Day – speaks to individuals who were set free from having to work with no pay. A holiday by its very significance means you get paid not to work,” says Mayor Hector Lora.
Lora also commemorated the day by naming an intersection in town Juneteenth Street and African American Way. The announcement was made in front of a new mural designed to highlight inspiring African American leaders.
“This will be one of the most visible and highly-trafficked area. I wanted our children, our families, individuals in the area to look up to role models in the fields of science, art, education, politics,” Lora says.
Sarah Rivera and Nick Luciano helped paint the mural.
“It’s like my dram to do something for Passaic on this scale,” says Rivera.
Other events included a flag-raising ceremony in East Orange. Gov. Phil Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver spoke at the Friendship Baptist Church in Trenton. Both leaders acknowledged that there is a lot of work to be done in the fight against racism.
“Two hundred and 44 years after our founding document declared “to a candid world” that “all men are created equal,” we must reckon with the fact…that we are far from achieving that promised equality,” Murphy said. “Ask George Floyd if he was treated as an equal…New Jersey, I’m proud to say, is a leader and we will remain a leader in bringing the change we need.”
Murphy said that he will work tirelessly with Oliver to address systemic racism and its cascading effects.


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