LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Several events throughout Southern California Friday will mark Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day the last slaves in the Confederacy were freed.

People pray together during a Juneteenth event organized by the One Race Movement at Centennial Olympic Park on June 19, 2020 in Atlanta, Ga. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when a Union general read orders in Galveston, Texas stating all enslaved people in Texas were free according to federal law. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Juneteenth, a verbal mingling of June 19th, marks the anniversary of Union Army Gen. Gordon Granger reading General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, which began, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.’” Juneteenth is a state holiday in Texas and a paid holiday for state employees in Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania.

The recent civil unrest sparked by the death of a black man who was held by the neck under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer for nearly nine minute has spurred renewed interest in Black history and the celebration of Juneteenth.

  • A march at 10 a.m. will give way to community celebration with food trucks and local vendors in South L.A. that will last until 6 p.m. Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson will be a special guest, and attendees were asked to wear masks.
  • The 11th annual “Juneteenth Celebration — A Rally For Black Independence” will start at 11 a.m. in Leimert Park and include live music on three stages, a drum circle and vendors. Special honorees are educator Ben Caldwell, artist Lauren Halsey, South LA food advocate Olympia Auset and rapper Dom Kennedy. The community celebration is expected to last until 7 p.m.
  • USC will host a virtual Juneteenth celebration on Zoom at 11 a.m. with people sharing live experiences, music and dance while remembering the lives lost this year, uplifting the collective movement for civil rights and honoring the cultural contributions of Black America. The meeting ID is 950 9028 8480, and people can also call in at 669-900-6833 or 253-215-8782.
  • A drive-through parade will start at The Forum at noon, make its way through Inglewood, View Park, Windsor Hills and the Crenshaw District, passing well-known Black-owned establishments and businesses, and ending in Leimert Park.
  • “Juneteenth as Black Tradition Caravan & March” will start at 2 p.m. at Martin Luther King Junior and Obama boulevards.
  • A Juneteenth Remembrance Ceremony will happen from 3 to 5 p.m. at Library Park in El Segundo.
  • A special Juneteenth forum will be held outside The Laugh Factory from 3 to 7 p.m. “to celebrate, protest and learn from community leaders and star-studded comedians such as Tiffany Haddish.”
  • West Hollywood will host a virtual discussion about racial injustice at 5 p.m. with actor-comedian Sinbad, political strategist Jasmyne Cannick, and Marquita Thomas, executive director of the LGBT chamber of Commerce, and moderated by Barbara Arnwine, the president and founder of Transformative Justice Coalition. The discussion will be streamed on the city’s website,  and the city’s YouTube channel.
  • Nurses at City of Hope Medical Center will hold a Juneteenth candlelight vigil in support and solidarity with Black Lives Matter from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Several companies and organizations will also observe Juneteenth as a holiday, including the International Longshore & Warehouse Union dockworkers at the Port of Los Angeles and 28 other West Coast ports. Chase will close its branches at 1 p.m. nationwide in observance of Juneteenth.

Friday will also be a paid holiday at Loyola Marymount University and Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Football Club, which launched an online petition on Tuesday calling for Juneteenth to be a federal holiday.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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