Juneteenth is now an official holiday in the City of Pittsburgh.
The New Pittsburgh Courier learned that Mayor Bill Peduto made the announcement during the Black Voting Rights Forum at St. Benedict the Moor Church in the Hill District, Aug. 29.
“Today, we celebrate those who fought for equitable access to voting—who fought to tell the world that Black people have a voice and that voice is important to helping to shape the future of our neighborhoods, our state and our country,” Mayor Peduto said.
We also celebrate those who have kept the rich culture and heritage of our Black communities alive and thriving – those such as B Marshall and others, who have passed along the rich tradition of Juneteenth in Pittsburgh every year with the Grand Jubilee of Freeman Parade, which was started in Pittsburgh in 1870.
Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19. It recognizes the day in 1865 when Union soldiers came to Galveston, Tex., and told residents that the Civil War had ended, and slaves were now free.
“Juneteenth reminds us of the rich history of Black Pittsburgh and celebrates those who worked hard so that Black people’s voices could be heard through voting,” Mayor Peduto continued.
“Throughout history, many have tried to silence Black voices. We have arrived in a critical time where they are finally getting the attention that they deserve—and they are being heard. Many of us, particularly privileged White men, have not always listened as much as we should have. The time is now to make that change permanent, and formally set aside this holiday to celebrate Black voices.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. (Photo by Jay Manning/Courtesy of PublicSource)