Historic Greenwood District Holds Juneteenth Celebration

Sunday, June 21st 2020, 10:23 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

TULSA, Okla. -

Thousands of people were in downtown Tulsa for the Presidential rally. At the same time, the historic Greenwood District was also packed, not with protesters, but with those commemorating Juneteenth for a second night in a row.

People danced and celebrated in the streets. Community leader Tyrance Billingsley said it was a moment he will never forget.​

"We were just celebrating for us,” Billingsley said. “We were celebrating for America. I feel like everybody was channeled in the celebration that happened last night."​

As Juneteenth fell on a Friday this year, what happened Saturday night was a continued celebration. ​

"Trump's visit had very little to do with it,” Billingsley said. “If it did have something to do with it, it just gave us even more reason to love and celebrate each other.”

There was also several protests and rallies across Tulsa. More than 1,000 people attended a peaceful protest called "A Rally Against Hate” at Veterans Park.

Emma Kaplan, a New York native, said she organized one of the protests in downtown Tulsa after the President's rally. 

"It showed the world that you're not going to stand aside when something really terrible happens like what happened here in 1921," Kaplan said. “The amount of integrity and courage to stand in the face of that and not be provoked was a beautiful thing and that’s what we came here to do."

Billingsley hopes the news spreads that Tulsa shined brightly this weekend.

"Tulsa is different. Greenwood is different,” Billingsley said. “We will always show that and will always be a beacon to the rest of this country.”