‘The battle continues’: Columbus organizations gear up for Juneteenth celebration, however say extra should be achieved

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The Black Community in Columbus called it a positive step but said more needed to be done.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – When President Joe Biden signed the law making Juniteenth a federal holiday, the Columbus Black Community called it a positive move but said more needed to be done.

“While we have Federal Day we will pause and celebrate, but the struggle continues. Some people want reparations, so we’ll keep fighting and trying to get reparations in any way that might look like a check or a free school, ”says Davante Goins of the Black Liberation of Central Ohio.

“June must be more than just celebrating the end of slavery. I think it has to be a public holiday that African Americans in this country continue to fight for their rights. I believe that, and I hope Juneteenth will, ”said Gary Holcomb, professor of African American Studies at Ohio University.

On Saturday, 400 to 500 people are expected to gather in Goodale Park to celebrate and commemorate the moment 155 years ago.

The last of the formerly enslaved learned that slavery was over – two years after the emancipation proclamation was signed.

Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, is the 12th federal public holiday in the country. It marks the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr.Day was introduced in 1983.

Laws to formally recognize the end of slavery were introduced last year by Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, following the death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.

However, both measures received a vote in the floors of their respective chambers. Legislature reintroduced its bills earlier this year, with each receiving broad bipartisan support.