TULSA, Okla. — Friday, June 19th is Juneteenth. It's a holiday many use to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.
In Tulsa, the original event was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.
However, some members of the community have come together to plan something in it's place to recognize this significant time.
According to the organizers of this year's Juneteenth celebration, titled, "I, too, am America: Juneteenth for Justice",ten thousand people are expected to show up.
They say with recent Black Lives Matter movements, something has sparked in the hearts of people around the world.
Organizers of Friday's celebration started planning about a week ago, after the original event was canceled.
They are expecting people from all over the United States to be here in Tulsa to celebrate Juneteenth, and learn more about the history that took place on Black Wall Street in 1921.
Event organizers have lined up multiple local and national performance groups and speakers for the event that starts at 11 a.m. Reverend Al Sharpton is one of their featured speakers. His speech will be about the need for legitimate changes to the systemic oppression people of color face daily.
Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt released the follow statement commemorating Juneteenth:
Today marks the celebration of Juneteenth – a day where we recognize the end of slavery in the United States and reflect on where we are as a nation. Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting, listening and learning. I’ve learned there are words I want all Oklahomans to hear: the lives of every Black man, woman and child matter. They matter to God. They matter to me as a person; and as governor, they matter to Oklahoma. Of course, all lives matter, but there are Oklahomans who are hurting and need to hear the governor of their state say it clearly: YOU matter.
As a man of faith, I look to 1 Corinthians 12:26, which says, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” We can admit that racism is real and that it’s wrong, even if we haven’t experienced it firsthand. After all, how can we be part of a solution to a problem we won’t admit exists? Micah 6:8 says, “The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands: ‘See that justice is done, to love mercy and walk humbly with your God.’” Let us continue the Oklahoma Standard by leading the way as a state, being forever willing to overcome our differences and work together for a better tomorrow.
Activity Coordinator Micah Wise tells 2 Works for You, the kids will have lots of fun, no matter what.
"There will be bounce houses for the kids, water sports, kick ball, flag football, basketball tournament, a petting zoo. Child Manipulative for the kids who are more creative and want to sit at the table," Wise said.
Also, for safety, social distancing will be enforced, and they have 250 thousand masks available for everyone to have more than one, should they need.
Seating will be limited, and volunteers will be walking the event to ensure and enforce CDC guidelines.
Wise says with all of the events happening in Tulsa this weekend, she is just happy she can give back to her community.
The free event starts Friday, June 19 at 11 a.m. in the field next to the Vernon AME Church.
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