Hundreds gathered at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park Friday on this year’s Juneteenth, the traditional commemoration date of the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the U.S.
OneRace Movement, a religious organization, hosted the event in an effort to call for change and unify across races, classes, denominations and culture.
According to its website, OneRace organizers are “calling for a clear biblical response of righteousness and justice from the Church of our city.”
Attendees will later march to the Georgia capitol building.
Other events are also planned across the country. From marches to rallies, they come as support grows for the racial justice movement.
Inspired in large part by Black Lives Matters protests, they have raised hopes that Juneteenth could someday become a true national celebration.
President Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Sept. 22, 1862, declaring all slaves free in Confederate territory effective the following Jan. 1.
But the news took time to travel. June 19, 1865, is the date when word of the proclamation reached African Americans in Texas.
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