Amid social unrest over racial injustice, dozens of Juneteenth marches, protests, rallies and other events are planned for Friday in the D.C. area.
Juneteenth — also known as Black Independence Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Juneteenth Independence Day or Juneteenth National Freedom Day — commemorates June 19, 1865, the day many enslaved people in Texas learned they had been freed. It was the last state to receive news of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The recent deaths of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have renewed the push to make Juneteenth a national holiday.
People were already downtown early Friday, gearing up for a day of demonstrations.
"Our event today is accomplishing not only the remembrance of our ancestors, but also of those that have passed away recently and in the past," one participant said.
Demonstrators across the region are planning for a full day of events.
There is a peaceful march scheduled for 10 a.m. called #Ward8Matters starting at Martin Luther King Ave SE. At noon, a freedom walk will take place in front of the African American Civil War Museum.
There is expected to be a 19 for 19 March in Malcolm X Park at 3 p.m. and a Million Moe March at 4 p.m. in Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Here is a rundown of some of the activities planned:
- The People's Juneteenth Celebration
- Juneteenth Freedom Walk
- NW4BLACKJUSTICE Juneteenth Protest
- Ward & Rising Call to Action Invest In Ward 7 Caravan
- DJ Art.Is Hosts Celebration & Art Exhibition
- Defend Black Lives Event
- Juneteenth 19 for 19 March
- Juneteenth Crush Mass-Incarceration and Racial Inequities
- Climate Voices for Black Lives
- Juneteenth Solidarity March
- Juneteenth Motorcade Through Ward 8
- Weekly Faith-Led DC Vigils Against Racism
Weekend Street Closures in DC
The following area will be closed to cars from Friday at 6 a.m. through Sunday. Additional street closures are possible.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.