Black Leaders, Activists To Commemorate Juneteenth Despite Trump Rally

Friday, June 12th 2020, 5:31 pm
By: Chinh Doan

President Trump’s first public campaign rally since the pandemic began is in Tulsa next Friday.

While supporters are preparing to welcome the president, others are focusing their energy elsewhere.

Black leaders and activists are planning events to commemorate and honor Juneteenth in the Greenwood District, about a mile from the BOK Center and the site of the presidential rally. Organizers are planning for a peaceful and educational rally, complete with speakers, and said they are determined not to let Trump’s rally deter or distract them from their goals.

Representative Regina Goodwin said while June 19th may commemorate the end of slavery in our country, blacks are not truly free until they have the same rights and opportunities.

"Why is it that black men and women are disproportionately stopped when it comes to law enforcement? When it comes to the meeting out of justice?" Goodwin said.

Alicia Andrews, Chair of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, says the phone conversation with the Trump campaign was unproductive.

"There was no mention of unity, there's no mention of racial justice, there's no mention of Juneteenth. We were just given a heads up,” Andrews said.

Kristi Williams, an organizer of the upcoming events, said the goal is to educate and empower, getting people registered to vote, ending racial inequality, and closing the wage gap.

"It's important to understand where we are in this country and in this city and in Greenwood as black people and we deserve better. We deserve better and we need to demand better for ourselves and protesting Trump isn't it,” Williams said.

On Friday morning, members of the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus gathered at the site of the 1921 Black Wall Street Memorial to address Juneteenth plans and progress for equality.

Related Story: Members Of Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus Discuss Importance Of Juneteenth