ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Across the nation and in Maryland, countless Americans celebrated Juneteenth Friday, the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States.
In Annapolis, a crowd marched through downtown streets, wearing black and chanting “Black Lives Matter” as they walked from Calvert Street to the city dock.
“It’s a big day for us — freedom,” Devron Jennings from Baltimore said.
— Kelsey Kushner (@KelseyKushnerTV) June 19, 2020
The group also honored George Floyd, the unarmed man killed in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day that sparked nationwide protests.
Annapolis resident Tenisha Kemp said although Friday was a day to celebrate the end of slavery, the fight for equality is far from over.
“Our rights and justice — there needs to be a change so I’m here to protest that change,” she said.
It was a similar scene in downtown Baltimore. Chopper 13 followed multiple marches either starting or ending at police headquarters or City Hall.
For the first time, a number of Maryland universities, including Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, honored Juneteenth as an official holiday.
The Baltimore Ravens also canceled all meetings and workouts in honor of Juneteenth. The team will treat the day as a company holiday moving forward.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) June 19, 2020
Gov. Larry Hogan also issued a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth.